Sunday, October 16, 2005

40. Recalling the Desert while Wrapped in Goose-Down

I figured that no one in Deering would ever have a sukkah, especially this year when Sukkot falls so late in the autumn. Well, I still don’t think there had ever been a sukkah in Deering, but some people come close.
An excerpt from the article from this week’s English version of The Forward:
In Fairbanks, Alaska, each year David Crawson and his wife, Jennifer Eskridge, build one of the few sukkot around. “Sukkot is not a highly observed holiday here because it is so cold,” Crawson said. “There’s almost always snow falling before Sukkot or during.” But give up Sukkot? They sooner would add layers of clothing, insulate the sukkah walls with colorful tapestries to break the wind or huddle in sleeping bags rated for 20-below weather. One “balmy” year when the temperatures were merely freezing, Eskridge and her daughter (then 6) did just that. More commonly, the family builds a fire pit in the sukkah. It sits on a metal stand. The colder the temperature, the smaller the fire hazard, they say. “We always eat in [the sukkah], that’s a hands down. We’re Alaskans; we just put on more clothes,” Eskridge said.

You can go to see the entire article at:

This Sukkas, No Specials On Lulavs

VOS IZ NEIAS Oct 16, 2005
The Egyptian government, which controls the area where most lulavs are harvested, has sharply reduced its exports, saying that harvesting the fronds harms the trees on which they grow, as reported previous on VOS IZ NEIAS.

But they did released 100,000 lulavs to the United States, at the urging of Jewish leaders and American government officials. But that is 400,000 fewer than it normally sends. Retailers have been trying to make up the shortfall with lulavs imported from Spain, but those are too few and too expensive to close the gap.
The announcement sent small shock waves through Jewish neighborhoods.

In response to the shortfall, the wholesale price of a lulav has rise sharply, to $10 or more; in previous years, the price was $2. Rather than giving them away, some are charging $15 apiece for the fronds this year.
Yup - I found an article in the New York Times.

I think ths year, some people will have to share. For the future, can they be grown in the Negev?
Well, it seems as if the press is really full of news about Jews in Alaska this week! There was a letter to the editor in this week's Yiddish Forward (Forverts) From a Steven Jacobs in Fairbanks:

(quoted material begins)

װי קריגט אַן אַלאַסקער די ביכער

חשובֿער רעדאַקטאָר

מיך- און מסתּמאַ אַנדערע לײענער-װאָלט מען זײער צופֿרידן געשטעלט, אױב בײַם אָפּדרוקן אַ רעצענזיע פֿון אַ נײַעם בוך געשריבן אױף ייִדיש איר װאָלט אױך געגעבן צו װיסן װי אַזױ און פֿון װאַנען מען קען עס באַקומען. עס איז ניטאָ קײן ייִדישער בוכהאַנדלער װוּ איך װױן

(c-lady's translation)
How can an Alaskan get the books?

To the editor:
It would delight me--and probably other readers as well--if when you printed a review of a new book in Yiddish, you also let us know how and from where to get it. There are no Yiddish bookstores where I live.

Steven Jacobs, Fairbanks Alaska
quoted material ends

Of course both of these items are about Fairbanks, which is practically Miami Beach compared to Deering.
I believe will special order books in Yiddish if they aren't already on the book list.

Btw, I find it amusing that the Yiddish spelling of Alaska is actually AlaskaR. Is that a Yiddish accent I read?
Hi, Chanela,
We finished and decorated our succa this afternoon. (It's probably easier here than it would be in Deering.)
We really missed D. today because when she was little and came to NY for Succot, she was our chief decorator.
Chag sameach!
Hi mom! call me when you can! (Phonetag bites) I think I'm seeing dad either today or tomorrow, so we'll both give you a ring when we're together. I LOVE YOU AND I MISS YOU MORE THAN I EVER EXPECTED! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Goofy (your daughter, in case you have forgotten me)
In Hebrew, Alaska is spelled אלסקה
The Yiddsih spelling of Alaska is

Add an 'r' to that and it means someone from Alaska, as in "How can an Alaskan get the books?"
Anyone know how to write Alaska in Ladino?
I have searched the internet for a dictionary to translate English to Ladino. All I could find was a dictionary, by Kohen, on for about $35.

The other thing I found was some sort of spyware. One of the sites I checked downloaded something that redirects my browser window about once a minute to a site advertising online casinos, anti-spyware software [that's a laugh, as if I'd consider buying anything from an advertiser like that], at-home college degrees, and assorted other trash.

I've now bombarded my operating system with Norton Anti-Virus, Microsoft Anti-Spyware, Spybot Search and Destroy, Yahoo Anti-Spy, and FreeSurfer anti-popup, as well as increasing the security level on my browser options. All to no avail.

Then I restored my XP operating system to where it was 24 hours earlier, when I had no pop-ups or page redirections. That slowed it down, but only a bit.

What's the Ladino equivalent of "feeling desparate"?

Enjoy your weekend, Amy!
Plano - who better to design software to stop spyware than someone who makes spyware? They know what to look out for. :-)
LOL. That's sort of why the best computer hackers get big jobs with system/software makers. :-)

What I'd like to have is a right-click option with a browser that says 'never go to this web site again'.

so.... did you survive the lulav shortage?

Let's just say it did not affect the lulav supply in Deering.
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