Let’s say we had to pick one single day as “The Funnest Day in the Jewish Calendar.” The obvious choice would be Purim or maybe Simchat Torah, followed by, in no particular order, the days of Hanukkah, Tu B’Av, and the like. But how about the day after Yom Kippur. That’s a biggie – at least in certain circles.
Many of us have gone through a period of, for wont of a better term, reflection or introspection, starting from the beginning of Elul and going through Yom Kippur. But think for a moment how all that plays out in Hareidi circles, where they take VERY SERIOUSLY the feeling that their actions during this period will determine their destiny for the next year, whether, in fact, they make it through the next year in one piece. So they spend, not a lot of time in shul as most of us do, but essentially all day in prayer on Yom Kippur. Imagine being in a room, which may or may not be air-conditioned, with a bunch of over-dressed and often under-washed men, and you’ve been there since the break of dawn and it’s now 5PM, and they will soon commence Neilah.
And then it’s over. Yom Kippur has come and gone. On to the next holiday! In Hareidi circles, it’s like being let out on the last day of school. The day after Yom Kippur is when the sukkahs go up lickety-split and it’s time to spend quality time with your buddies purchasing a lulav and etrog and whatever else you need. And that’s when every year I head out with my camera to photograph the goings-on. Continue reading