I have been taking a phone photo almost after every visit I make to dad. Have been doing this over the past 2 plus years while I've been staying over for Shabbos and or Yom Tov about every other week with him in his assisted living facility. I forgot to take one tonght, post first days of Sukkot, but the one above, which is from post Yom Kippur, last week, pretty much captures tonight's scene too.
I am grateful for the chance to share while I'm there. I said a Dvar Torah in the Sukkah on each night. And I gave a shiur for about 45 minutes tonight between Mincha and Maariv. Dad gets nachas and other people seem to enjoy to, and I must confess that the saying comes to mind about the mother needing to nurse more than the calf needs to drink.
I facilitated a silence breaking discussion at dinner. I asked if anyone had a Sukkos memory to share. One man claimed that the story which I've heard as an urban legend actually happened to him. He lived in Harlem, 117th street, some years back when he was a child (he's now 102, and with it). The sukkah was built on the roof. They were challenged. Went to court. Lost. The judge gave them 10 days to take it down.
Another man remembered the first time he built a sukkah for his family. There was a storm and every other sukkah fell, and he felt good that his was standing still (and so did his son who today is married to one of the place's social workers).
Yet another man told about the time that his family built their sukkah between two buildings in their little German town. Only this time, in the morning, they found a rat tail in the Sukkah. it was 1936. Shortly after this the man's father (this man was a boy of 5 at the time of the story) was taken in by police, missing for 24 hours. Then he was released. This prompted the family to contact an aunt is America and arrange to go. The man recalled a relative who was a rabbi and teacher who said that in three months everything would be gone, and soon he and his family perished. The man who told this story is my dad.
I would love to write up the DTs I said, and the shiur. But it's getting to be time for bed. So I'm going to head off to read some of The Invoice, an intriguing short novel about what it might be like if we suddenly were billed for how happy we actually were in life...
Good night and G-d bless
even if you're in a mess
please do not distress.
G-d watches us through the cracks,
so breathe and take his light in.