because you just never know where your inspiration will come from…
so yesterday was purim. purim, to me, is the very best jewish holiday going. chanukah gets more press because here in america, it has ended up in a tit-for-tat with christmas. american jews run to the shops to buy altogether too many things for their offspring, because G-d forbid jeremy or sarah feels left out of the gift-giving frenzy. oy veis mer.
but purim? hands down, it rocks.
i sometimes call purim the jewish mardi gras. (well, only in my little bear brain, of course: obviously, it has nothing at all to do with the tale behind mardi gras, but it’s almost as much fun.) sure, you have to sit through the reading of the book of esther (the megillah, as in the whole megillah fame. not to be confused with the gorilla of a similar sounding name.) but every time the evil haman is named in the story, you are encouraged to make boatloads of noise (vuvuzelas, anybody?) to blot out the sound of he who should not be named, one of the bigger villains who wanted to kill all the jews. (sadly, this appears to be a recurrent theme in our cultural history.) it’s literally the only time i let my kids yell boo in public (though in all fairness, i haven’t yet taken them to a yankees game.)
you’re also supposed to get seriously wasted on this holiday:
A person is obligated to drink on Purim until he does not know the difference between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordechai”
honestly, as a mom and as a person of a certain age, i don’t really ever get to do this. and i still didn’t get to do this. but it’s nice to know in the back of my mind that i’m supposed to do this on this one-time-only basis each year.
i did, however, eat my weight in hamentashen this year, the three-sided cookie that we red sea pedestrians eat as a traditional holiday treat. old skool ashkenazi jews like to eat them with poppy, prune, or apricot filling. bleh. over the years, though, i have enjoyed more and more delightful fillings, like cherry, chocolate, and basically anything not poppy or prune oriented. i mean, imagine if you did get drunk AND you had eaten a lot of prune-filled delights? i shudder to think.
so what the hell does this have to do with a psychedelic hit, you might ask? (well, besides the being wasted part of things.)
many synagogues put together a purim carnival for the children. ours was no exception — lots of games and a moonbounce for the kiddies to enjoy. BC missed the entire thing because of a prior girl scout commitment (and BOY, was she mad.) but jools? he had the time of his life. he played all sorts of carnival games, winning tickets to earn small prizes. that being said, his eye was on a particular prize — candy. he loaded up on a lot of hershey kisses and miniatures.
but then, he went up to a friend of mine, who was running the prize area, and he was counting his tickets. how many do you have? she asked him. he continued to count.
i’m trying to see whether i have enough tickets. i want to get a peppermint patty for my sister. she loves them. i want to get one for my dad, too.
bless my friend’s heart. thinking of your sister and your dad is a mitzvah. you can have one for each of them, no tickets required.
i am always incredibly grateful when a child does the right thing and an adult reinforces the message. it really does take a village to raise a a child, and moments like these, i’m so glad to find like-minded people in my little village of sorts. it’s magical, it’s meaningful.
and, like incense and peppermints, it’s so sweet.