Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Purim 2009

this should really be a series of mini-posts, but I'm just going to dump this all out into one long (boring?) post

Taanis Esther
i always felt like this was the 'lost' fast. with all the other fast days, there is a lot of focus and reflection on why we're fasting, but with Taanis Esther, it's all making the mishloach manot, preparing the costumes, and cooking the food. i had class on Monday, and it was one of the hardest fasts I've ever done (not including Yom Kippurs) because everyone around me was eating. french fries, pizza, chicken, soup, cake, crackers, pretzels...i think i started hallucinating and saw dancing donuts march in front of my eyes. and the beads on my instructors necklace looked like candies...
i tried to study, but i could barely hear my thoughts over the rumbling protest of my stomach. it hadn't helped that i forgot to eat lunch the day before.

the question is, do you wear costumes at night? my shul does a chagiga following megillah reading, so we've always come dressed up in costume. this year was no different. my costume was a very last minute decision, and i was very impressed with myself that it came out so good. my entire family always dresses up, even my parents. there are a few families in the shul who are into matching themes; the costumes, the mishloach manot, the seudah, the wall decorations, it all ties in. this year was no exception. of course there were they typical costumes, queens, brides, princesses, Indians, cowboys/girls, punks, sports figures. the girls usually pick costumes that include one or more of the following:
long fingernails
big dangly earrings
a lot of makeup
the boys usually choose a costume that includes one or more of the following:
spiked hair
fake tattoos

my idea of a perfect megillah reading is one where you can bang for the first and last Haman, and in between the reader reads right through all the other Hamans. the worse reading i ever sat through was when i was in seminary. it took an hour and fifteen minutes. pure agony. our shul has instituted a policy of no caps or any smoking or banging things during megillah reading. thank goodness for that. brother2 set off so many poppers and bombs that my nerves were totally shot by the end of Purim.
this morning, i had a little salvation of my own with Megillah reading. i had the problem of a clinical that started at 8 am and finished at 1 pm. since they changed the clock (why is it phrased that way, "they" changed the clock, we are the ones who change the clock...) there was no minyan that would be finished before 8 am. so i was going to have to make my dad my shomer to make sure i would hear megillah. slightly annoying, but that's part of life.
the facility that my clinical was located in is Jewish facility, and there were signs everywhere that announced Megillah reading at 10:15. so i took a chance, held my breath, and asked my instructor if i could leave the class to hear Megillah...and she said yes!

Mishloach Manot
the thing about mishloach manot that confuses me the most is the whole reciprocity thing. you have to leave someone at home to give mishloach manot to the people who come, but then you run into the problem of one person getting two from you. or none. and even leaving a list isn't foolproof. because what if you decide to run into someone's house and don't tell the person at home? i decided that next year I'm going to make one mishloach manot. just one. I'll give it to the first person who gives to me. and then I'll take the one they give me and give it to the next person who gives to me. except I'll run into a problem if there are labels on it. or if i give to a friend who will then have two of the exact same mishloach manot. sister1 says she's saving the bags and containers that she received mishloach manot in and next year she's going to give everyone mishloach manot in the bags that they gave her in this year.


Dude with hat (aka BTS) said...

Can't say what i feel after reading this. May be some jealousy? :)

nmf #7 said...

Why jealousy?
Funnily enough- I also got fed up with mishloach manos this year, and came up with the same idea as you...recycling is always better.

Mikeinmidwood said...

This years purim was great, nothing went wrong, and nothing didnt go right (everything went right). I did no recycling, and well, now I have way too much; and Pesach is coming!.

G6 said...

Regarding your theory of ONLY ONE shalach monos... you know there is that same theory about the unwanted x-mas fruitcakes... that there is really only ONE in the entire world and it just keeps getting passed around from year to year...
I love sister 1's idea though... please update us next year. I'm curious to see how many people NOTICE :)

Anonymous said...

we are saving every box bag container and using them for the kids mishloach manos next year. a whole box of these put away. the theme will be,...?

EsPes said...

we always make a list of who we're delivering shaloch manos to, and if they come to our house, we make sure not to give them

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

1-I know what you mean about Tanis Esther getting lost. Everyone around me was saying that it's not an important fast, and you skip it, so I guess its ok for people to be busy with purim prep and forget about the day.

2- very true about the costumes.

3- I also find all the noise by Haman annoying and would like for it to go straight with just beginning and end interruptions. I also had the whole megillah-school conflict, but I got it to work out at the end. glad it worked out by you too

4- I gave one shaloch manos this year. My mother keeps all the bags and everything, but she tries not to give it to the same person next year.