One of New York City’s busiest — and briefest — shopping centers made its annual appearance this week.
Between Sunday, the day after Yom Kippur, and Wednesday, erev Sukkot, a stretch of several blocks along the south side of Main Street in Queens’ heavily Jewish Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood, became a pre-holiday bazaar. At wooden tables set up along the street, Sukkot supplies went on sale.
Available were Four Species sets and materials for family sukkahs. And, in once-a-year storefronts, ready-to-assemble sukkahs themselves.
Chanan Reitblat, a Lithuanian-born and American-bred post-graduate student at Yeshiva University, went to Scotland’s historic St. Andrews University earlier this year to study chemistry and learned a lesson in contemporary politics.
Casting one’s sins, symbolically, upon the waters is a minor part of the High Holy Days, certainly less important and less spiritually valuable than Rosh HaShanah’s shofar, Yom Kippur’s fasting and both days’ prayer and repentance. Nonetheless, Tashlich is a strong tradition.
Like at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, above, where Jews have gathered for decades, walking from nearby Crown Heights and Borough Park and Flatbush, to throw breadcrumbs into the lake, to read some biblical verses and to mingle.
In Jewish tradition, last Saturday — the 18th day of Elul — was a significant date. It is the anniversary of the birth of two major chasidic figures: the Baal Shem Tov, founder of the chasidic movement; and Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.