I was visiting my friend Gail a couple of weeks ago and we were chatting about the overall malaise that seems to have infiltrated our lives. No surprise, given the amount of snow we’ve had here in the Northeast and the dismal economy that is keeping too many people from finding jobs. But, Challah Connection is always a bright spot in any conversation, and when we spoke about Purim, it felt like spring, or a time to be happy.
Purim is all about freedom, rejoicing and PARTYING! And even better, it’s a mitzvah (good deed) to celebrate Purim with food, drink and merriment! Who can argue with a party dictated by your rabbi? Gail, who is not Jewish, brought up a great point–that Purim is just a plain old good time to party–Jewish or not! Yes, kind of like Mardi Gras.
I remember the Purim parties of my growing up years: bland expressions of festivity in the last 15 minutes of Hebrew school with some dry hamentashen and grape juice served in solo paper cups.
In contrast, the Purim parties of today are sophisticated gatherings with gourmet food, music and fun. As a matter of fact, while writing this, I received an email invitation for a “Purim Prohibition Party” at a super-cool hotel on the Lower East Side in New York. I’ve seen some other fun sounding events which I’d love to attend, but I will actually be in Berlin on Purim. I’ll be visiting my son Harry, who is spending his “gap” year between high school and college on an amazing voyage that has taken him from Portland, OR to Israel and Eastern Europe. It will be my mission to see how Berliners observe this terrific holiday of freedom and celebration. In the meantime, before I leave, it’s all business here at Challah Connection, making sure that your Shalach Manot and Purim gift baskets get out on time. Chag Purim Sameach!