Purim at Bonai Shalom

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:

Purim 5772/2012

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!
Rabbi Marc

About Rabbi Marc Soloway

Marc is a native of London, England where he was an actor and practitioner of complimentary medicine before training as a rabbi in London, Jerusalem and Los Angeles. He was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies at the American Jewish University in 2004 and has been the the spiritual leader at Bonai Shalom in Boulder ever since. Marc was a close student of Rabbi Zalman Schechter Shalomi and received an additional smicha (rabbinic ordination) from him in 2014, just two months before he died. He has been the host and narrator of two documentary films shown on PBS; A Fire in the Forest: In Search of the Baal Shem Tov and Treasure under the Bridge: Pilgrimage to the Hasidic Masters of Ukraine. Marc is a graduate of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, a fellow of Rabbis Without Borders, has traveled to Ghana in a rabbinic delegation with American Jewish World Service and co-chair of the Rabbinical Council and national board member of Hazon, which strives to create more sustainable Jewish communities. In 2015, Marc was among a group of 12 faith leaders honored at The White House as “Champions of Change” for work on the climate. Marc is a proud member of Beit Izim, Boulder’s Jewish goat milking co-op.

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