Monday, September 28, 2015

Home is Wherever I'm With You: Sukkot At School

Let me begin by pointing out the fact that if I was back home in Chicago, I wouldn't even notice that Sukkot existed let alone spend the majority of the first two days of Sukkot in a Sukkah. Occasionally while growing up, I would visit a friend's Sukkah and eat some food in it or something, but it was never a big deal. But this year was different.

My Sukkoth started the way that most of my Shabboses do here at school: setting tables. The meal coordinator and I would run around, counting plates, silverware, etc, you know the drill. Once the sukkah was all set, and the decorations were properly attached with the Tardis sign hanging front and center, we went back to our dorm rooms and took a break. When I returned, the Sukkah was filled with people. I spent the majority of my night with these people, playing card games, laughing at ridiculous jokes and talking about the future of the Jewish movement. On Erev Sukkot, I left the Sukkah after 1am(Does that mean it wasn't Erev anymore? Somebody remind me to ask a Rabbi that...).

We joined back together today at noon for a casual lunch, and then my afternoon continued with, you guessed it, setting more tables. Once the tables were set and I had edited my peer reviewer's essay on Genesis 16, we sat around joking about the amount of Jews that there are at my school(mind you, this is not an uncommon thing). Finally, dinner came, and every few minutes;, I would be once again awed by this amazing community that I have found myself in. i was sitting with a few friends and the Orthodox rabbi on campus when he suddenly asks, "Who are you?" First, I laughed because this conversation had literally been going on for a half an hour before he asked me for my name, and ten we continued talking, vaguely about me, and he said something to the effect of "oh so you're dad grew up and got married and no longer cared about having a girl's first name as his last name..."I burst out laughing. First of all, because my parents are no longer married and I made the rabbi feel super bad about saying that, and second because what was this conversation we were having? I guess we all really do spend too much time together. Oh well, I guess I call Hillel my home for a good reason.

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