The festival of Purim began this evening as soon as Shabbat went out. While the menfolk went to *shul to hear the *Megillah being read, I went with my daughter and new granddaughter, my neighbour, sister-in-law and her sister to my sister’s house, where her husband read the Megillah for us in supersonic time (well, almost 😛 ). We turned up duly dressed up in a variety of costumes and equipped with *ra’ashanim (it’s amazing how useful baby rattles are!) to drown out evil Haman’s name every time it was mentioned. 😀
Our *Mishloach Manot parcels are all wrapped and ready to be delivered tomorrow, and then we’ll be off to our *Seudah at our our daughter’s house together with all our children and grandchildren. Quiet it will certainly not be! We have shared out the cooking between us, and part of my contribution will be the *challot (plaited loaves of bread), which I made with chocolate chips and topped with coloured sprinkles. I hope they taste as good as they look and smell! 😋
(* For a translation of the Hebrew words used here, please consult my Glossary page in the menu above.)
For your Purim entertainment, here is a Purim spoof from the Jewish
Some of the headlines and articles are hysterical! For example:
Jerusalem —Israelis woke up Purim morning to discover that the Western Wall here now bears the name TRUMP KOTEL in giant gold letters resting atop the ancient stone.
In a secret deal signed last week, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sold the historic limestone wall, a 2,000-year-old remnant of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, to U.S. President Donald Trump in exchange for the American Embassy being moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Go and read it all! 😀
The Jerusalem Post also has a couple of Purim parodies including the US Embassy moving to Jerusalem as a diner!
Spiegelmanberg, in partnership with incoming US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Friedman, is the proprietor of the newly trademarked “US Embassy” brand and he hopes to open his first branch in Jerusalem at a snazzy new location on Jaffa Road. At first he hopes to serve classic American food, such as hamburgers, pizza, California rolls and burritos, but intends to expand to Asian fusion fare in the fall.
“The ‘US Embassy in Jerusalem’ is a great brand. It’s an epic topic of discussion and really the center of controversy. They say all publicity is good publicity,” says Spiegelmanberg, sitting at Cafe Hillel watching the light rail meander its way through throngs of people.
When you stop to think about it, it’s almost possible! 🙂
Some more Purim fun is available at the satirical website Preoccupied Territory, including Fashionistas bash female MKs’ International Women’s Day Attire as Frumpy. 😀
On a slightly more serious note, who could have thought only a few years ago that we’d see the following news item:
More food for thought comes from Aish with Purim and the red strawberries:
Are the strawberries in the photo above red?
The latest internet sensation is this picture of a luscious-looking tart covered with red strawberries. But the photo doesn’t use a single red pixel. The strawberries are not red.
The strawberries appear red because of color constancy – the human brain is designed to perceive the same colors under a range of circumstances. Whether you’re outside in bright natural light or inside in a dimly-lit closet, the brain works to color correct, ensuring you see constant colors. So even though the image of the strawberries consists of gray and greenish pixels, you still see red strawberries.
In other words, even when we think we are seeing things as they really are, a host of other factors – light, surrounding color, our environment – are all affecting our perception of reality. “Our sensory systems are amazing” explains Dr. John Krantz, a sensory psychologist at Hannover College in Indiana. “We think we’re taking in the world as it is and missing all the complexity behind what it takes to make that happen.”
The primary theme of Purim is “v’nahafoch hu” – the Hebrew term for things being turned upside down. Nothing is as it appears. Esther, the Queen of Persia, is really a secret Jew named Hadassah. Mordechai, the arch-enemy of Haman, ends up receiving the king’s honor by paraded around town, by Haman no less. Haman ends up being hanged on the very gallows that he erected to hang Mordechai. The Jews of Persia, under mortal threat, emerge victorious. Purim, the day marked for death and destruction for Jews, is flipped over into a day of feasting and gladness instead.
The entire Purim story took place over a span of nine years. It’s only with hindsight that a series of seeming coincidences – Esther becoming queen, Mordechai being in the right place at the right time to save the life of the king, and other occurrences – was revealed to be part of an overarching Divine plan. Nothing was the way it seemed; the very things devised to destroy the Jewish people were the instruments used to save them.
The miracles of Purim weren’t flashy; there was no parting of a sea, no plagues descending from the heavens. In fact, the name of God doesn’t even overtly appear in the Book of Esther. The miracles are hidden. Purim reveals how every step has profound meaning and is being orchestrated by God’s guiding Hand. There are no coincidences.
Indeed, we have to keep in mind that behind the fun there is a serious historical story with many lessons for us through the generations.
I wish all those celebrating Purim Same’ach – Happy Purim!