Every year, on one morning of Chol Hamoed Sukkot, the gates of Beit Hanassi are opened. The public is invited inside the gardens of the Israeli President’s official residence to see the Presidential sukka.
The theme this year was “Healthy is possible” at Beit Hanassi.
A giant red Elmo wore a sticker supporting the healthy theme.
Health Minister Yael German sat on stage with President Shimon Peres wearing the same sticker.
Piles of fresh fruits and vegetables decorated the stage in front of the ballet dancers.
Dancers perform every year in the free shows provided for the audience, those people who make it inside to the standing-room only garden.
But this year a demonstration of a judo school and
acrobatics were added to support the healthy theme of the day.
There were songs encouraging children to drink water, lots of water.
90-year old President Shimon Peres did not just sit there, but got up and joined in with one song on the tambourine.
Red, lots of red, healthy foods were on display.
A sample of Israeli mini-veggies were given out, there were none of the usual cookies and junk food at this event.
That was great, but unfortunately, there were also
people smoking cigarettes.
When I asked one man with an official tag around his neck, how he could smoke at an event about being healthy, he said that it was “about food.”
Sorry, eating healthy food, drinking water and getting exercise are certainly important!
However, how can there be smoking at a public health event?
The holidays are over. The sukka is put away.
But I am still upset.
All Photos credit: Sharon Altshul