Friday, October 24, 2008


Four of us went out a few days before the festival of Sukkot [Booths] to cut palm branches for the Schach to cover the Sukkah. There are date palms all around us here in Baghdad, and it's the first time I've been able to cut a fresh lulav (unopened palm frond) for use in the four species. We needed quite a few palm branches so that there would be a sukkah on each camp here at Victory Base Complex.

I was over on Sather Air Base, which is walking distance from my quarters on Camp Stryker. That is if you walk across the runway of Baghdad International Airport! It's a big runway, and a group up us really had a lot of fun going across the landing zone after we davenned [prayed], made kiddush and ate dinner in the sukkah. Then every morning CPT Jonathan Gross, MSG Mathew Kirsner and I met in the sukkah on Camp Stryker for a morning service and waving the four species.

It was a good start to the new year, and may it be a year filled with Mitzvoth and good for all of us. L'Shanah Ha'ba'ah B'Yirushalayim [Next Year in Jerusalem]!