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Wondering: About Purim

This coming week we celebrate Purim. At B'nai Zion we will have a Purim Carnival Sunday, March 13 (thanks to the Jewish Federation of North Louisiana for sponsoring it), and we have Purim Shabbat service next Friday, March 18. Purim is a wonderfully joyful holiday. I love hamantaschen, seeing everyone in costumes, and the fun and creative ways we retell the story in "the Megillah," also known as the "Book of Esther."

When I was growing up the adults wore costumes to the service too. It was lots of fun. Usually the adult costumes were way more creative than the kids' costumes. I still look forward to how much fun we have at Purim.

There are traditions about giving treats to friends, family, and neighbors. You may see it called "shlach manot" or "mishloach manot." There is a tradition of "giving tzedakah" to take care of those who could use help. This year one focus will be for those in or escaping Ukraine.

It is obvious that the children think of Purim as similar to Halloween. I love how - although there are obvious things that we do for both - it is also very different. We get in costume to have fun with hiding our identities (like Esther hid hers from the king). We focus on the giving - not on the getting. We focus on the joy. We are trying to make each other as happy as we can (not scare each other). 

Every year I feel like my mind is blank - no new creative ways to tell the story. I look back at the ways we have told it over the years - and I don't see how we can "compete." Every year we come up with something new. I can't wait to share our new Purim Schpiels. We are prepping two: one by the Hebrew Students and one I will be working on by myself. We may make them available before next Friday at services, but we may need to do show them then for the first time. 

This week I am wondering: Would you be willing to wear a costume on Purim? Why/why not? What are your favorite things about Purim: Hamantaschen? Shlach Manot - giving treats to others? Giving Tzedakah? Something else? What can you do to make Purim more special and joyful this year?

CLICK HERE to go to the B'nai Zion Purim page where you can find recent Purim videos, games and more. For example, you can find the links to the: Beatles one, Elvis one, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel, Fiddler, Esther and the Wolf (with my siblings playing all of the musical instruments), Beignet Zion version, and of course - last year's Pandemic Purim (which I initially did not want to do, but it is one of my favorites now). 

CLICK HERE to go to the Wonderings main page to see all Wonderings questions and replies.

Once again, I want to thank everyone who has responded to my  "Wonderings."  You are always welcome to respond to any of the questions I have asked by calling or emailing, no matter how long ago the question was originally posed. You can also choose to keep your replies totally private, and not be posted on the Responses page. I always try to remove personal / identifying details when I do post the replies. 

You may want to check back to see if more replies have been added since you last looked.


Wed, June 29 2022 30 Sivan 5782