Sukkot on the Farm, take II

Every night before Z goes to sleep, she says “nah…….nah, no more nana…. all gone, coff….ee, bweakeeee, chect soo midits, why-ya toes see you way up.”  Which means “Nahnah coffee breaky check two minutes laila tov see you when you wake up.”

And then first thing every morning, she gets to make M coffee.

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Note that her job stops before the hot water is poured.

I promised Sukkot on the Farm. Ok, here’s the backstory: Z, two years ago, after not sleeping all night.

And me, same morning. (For a thorough review of this experience two years ago, please see here.)

Now, fast forward two years.  Happy, rested children. Happy, rested grownups.  Yay!




We still have our Monstrosity tent, which has plenty of room. This fact does not turn squirmy sleepers into non squirmy sleepers, so here you can see Z, who started on her blanket made by her Aunt Margie, with her head near N’s, sleeping on N’s feet.



This year, as last, Wilderness Torah had lots going on. N and H were off running with other kids, making friends, dressing up, playing, picking strawberries, carrying flags, chatting with adults, bobbing for apples, making cider and/or grape juice, making challah, and more that I can’t remember. N ran up to me and M at one point, while we were sitting by the tent just hanging out, raised her arms and said



“I’m having the best time ever!”  Then she grinned,


and ran off.

We (grownups) got to learn about Shmita, which is the biblical custom that every seven years the land gets a year of rest, a Shabbat of its own, and other things happen, like debts are forgiven.  We looked at some Torah and discussed this, and how it is or can be applicable today.  Sounds like no one (even in Israel) still does this, and we talked about how this could even look these days, and how it would effect the livelihood of farmers, etc. I have never learned about Shmita before, so it was a nice introduction.  We also had lots of options, including making a lulav out of local materials, scavenger hunt, more learning, tefilah, yoga, hikes, doing nothing, and hanging out.


There was way more of a family presence this year than the last time we were there. And so many friendly people, it was crazy. Even right when we got there, some random person offered to help us unload our stuff.  M tried to demur, but I said yes, please we’d love help! So she helped set up the tent, and while she was doing that, turns out she likes kids (in the wow, these are interesting little people that seem fun to talk to, not the “OMG they’re so cute giggle giggle” way). So she ended up going off with N and Z so M and I could set everything up. Not only was that insanely helpful to us, it also helped N just fall into feeling right at home there. She and H ended up going on a hike with this same person, L, the next day. I had thought they were going on a 20 minute thing, but they hiked up a big mountain and were gone for a few hours, taking another four year old friend with them.

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When it was time for something to happen, someone would call any kids who wanted to go run around the festival with big flags, letting people know it was time to do whatever it was (eat, tribe meeting, Kabbalat Shabbat, etc).


Strangely, H wore shoes almost the whole time we were there. Once N discovered she really was allowed to be barefoot, I think she lost her shoes for the rest of festival. She was in heaven, dirty stinky black feet!

Here you can see a layout of part of the festival on the farm.



There is a huge sukkah, for meals, or if you like doing yoga in the mornings, or for services, or for singing, or for hanging out, or for sleeping. Beyond that, they have dish stuff.  You are responsible for bringing your own dishes. They provide breakfast and dinner every day (and they don’t cook on Shabbat), vegetarian, and snacks are always out. You are responsible for bringing your own stuff for lunch. They have bins out to rinse, wash, rinse, and sanitize your dishes, and then lots of drying racks. Oh, and they also have strong coffee.  But it has never been made and available early enough. Maybe we can volunteer Z’s services next year to make that happen…

Conclusions? Camping was not the most brilliant idea for us two years ago. This high-fallutin style (with an air mattress and meals cooked for us) is the way to go now!

Then, back at home…

It was evening, it was morning.



First, smell the etrog,

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then you shake shake shake!

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Here are the kids in clothes that used to belong to me and/or my sibling and/or my 20-something year old cousins. Bring back memories for any of you?



And lastly, one contemplative silhouette. At the airport.