Voices from the field
Purim in Israel
Anyone who has recently visited an Israeli Purim costume store will soon realize that Purim is not just for little kids but rather, a reason or ‘excuse’ for people of all ages and orientations, to dress up and express their inner-selves in the weirdest and most elaborate ways. As director of the NU Campaign, Purim is certainly my favorite Jewish festival. Having seen the positive effect that clothing has and how what one wears can positively impact people and inspire them to change the world, I strongly identify with the nature and importance of this chag!
Purim in Israel is awesome and it’s so amazing to see everyone out in the streets dressed up and having fun – I guess, Israelis have an appreciation for events in which someone tries to destroy the Jewish people and we somehow, miraculously, survive.
Having dropped my kids at kindergarden this morning and taken a drive through Jerusalem it seems that this year’s favorite costumes include Queen Esther, Power Rangers, Batman, Robin Hood, Nurses, Sponge-Bob, Bakugan, Messi (he’s a soccer player), frogs, lions and lots more. There were also plenty of soldiers but I don’t think they were dressed up.
Like everything else in the Holy Land, everyone celebrates the festival in their own unique and ‘melting pot’ type way. From night club parties, to megillah readings, to giving gifts to the poor, food parcels to friends, more parties and just using the day to have a normal relaxing day (pretending that we have Sunday too). Living in Jerusalem is extra special as we get Shushan Purim – an additional day of celebrations, where, according to Jewish tradition, if your city had a wall around it in Jewish temple times, you celebrate one day later.
Have an incredible Purim and hopefully this year, the good of Mordechai will outshine the bad of Haman!