That pre-Purim craziness and curious paradox is in the air, as the masks, groggers and hamentaschen lie in readiness for the noisy, sugar-filled fest. In a frightening world, it is powerful to be able to fantasize about our strength when we might feel weak and vulnerable, and to imagine a world where there is no evil and no good, as the harsh distinctions fall away, allowing, perhaps, a deeper truth to be revealed. Of course, some of these distinctions are very real and important, and others are false dichotomies that we create in order to make sense of a world that is hard to understand. Purim gives us a license to mess with reality in an exciting and disturbing role play where that which is most hidden becomes revealed and that which appears to be evident hides itself in shame. All of the dualities that define us are called into question in this bizarre holiday: Haman and Mordechai, Good and Evil, Liberal and Conservative, Imminent and Transcendent, Light and Dark, Right and Wrong, Strong and Weak and so many more. In order to find our authentic selves, we may have to lose ourselves first!
The Mitzvot of Purim are: 1. To hear the Megillah (we have three opportunities at Bonai Shalom) 2. Matanot la’evyonim – Gifts to the Poor. We will be collecting money for this at our Megillah readings, as well as auctioning off our Mac ‘n’ Cheese groggers, most of which we will be delivering directly to Community Food Share on Purim morning. 3. Mishloach Manot – Food Gifts to Friends and Neighbors, which is covered by our amazing Happy Purim Project, as well as the personal gifts we give to each other. 4. Se’udat Purim – A Festive Purim Meal, traditionally held in the afternoon of Purim. Although we do not have an official one at Bonai Shalom this year, we encourage you to join with others for such festivities!
Here is a full schedule of events for this Purim:
Wednesday March 7
Fast of Esther – Begins at 5:03 am ends at 6:27 pm
5:45 pm – Purim Shelanu, a fun, interactive Purim program for 0-5s and their parents, including a retelling of the story with Rabbi Marc and Esther’s Dance Party
6:30 pm – Costume Parade with prizes for all who are dressed up!
7:00pm-9:ish – Teen Lounge, staffed by Hebrew High, snacks by Shushan Catering
6:45 pm – Maariv (evening service)
7:00 pm – Traditional Megillah Reading
8:ish – Crazy Purim Shtick with MC McPhee
Thursday March 8
7:00 am – Shacharit (Morning Service), followed by Megillah Reading, read by Yossi Shlossberg (approximately 8:00 am)
2:00 pm – Womens’ Megillah Reading with Morah Yehudis Fishman
All events listed at Bonai Shalom
Wishing everyone a joyful, conscious Purim!