Sunday, March 09, 2008

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Aliyah Update: PPPurim Preparations

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

In the US, while you could somewhat isolate yourself in the religious community, still, come October every store turned orange, come November every store turned brown and yellow, and come December every store turned green and red. The colors were one thing, the music, well, just pervasive. Train station, subway, billboards, you just couldn't get away from it.

Well, in Israel it's Chodesh Adar. The grocery stores have tripled the size of their candy isles. Nosh mini-stores have pop'd up. The childrens stores have outside racks of costumes. And the billboards, all have Purim themes. The little children walking home from pre-school come home very day with a made-up hat, or face paint, or a made-up mask. And of course, every bakery is making oznei hamon (hamentashen).

All the little girls want to be Ester HaMalka (Queen Ester), or maybe just a kallah (bride). All the little boys want to be Mordechai HaYehuda (Mordechai the Jew), or maybe a really scary Hamon HaRasha (evil Haman), though given todays times rescue worker uniforms are popular as well.

Firecrackers go off every evening, as the slightly older boys make sure they're fully prepared to blot out Hamon's name (and yes, they will set them off in synagogue on Purim when Hamon is said).

The grocery stores run specials on Mishloach Manot components, chocolate crispies are 5 for 10 shekel, and vafela (waffer cookiers) are 12 for 10 shekel!

Every school is preparing a Purim Shpiel (Purim play), and songs of the time of Akhashveyrosh are on the radio.

Because in Israel, Purim is coming. No colored eggs, no weird bunnies, Purim. The children are excited, for Purim is coming. The children are excited, and even many normally grumpy adults crack a smile. Mishanechnas Adar marbim b'simcha, when Adar comes, we increase in joy.

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