Monday, March 24, 2008

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Purim in Jerusalem

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

This year, I was fortunate and blessed to spend Shushan Purim (today) in Jerusalem. First, it turns out my home town was a ghost town. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was headed into Jerusalem for Shushan Purim. Every outbound bus was full and the roads to Jerusalem were absolutely bumper to bumper.

Every bus, every car, was filled with costumed children and men in their Shabbos clothes. We crawled up the road, up the mountains, to Jerusalem.

Upon entering we saw sidewalks filled with all manner of strange folk. The oddly but identically dressed marching band or mariachi band or tails and top hats groups of 5 or so were a frequent site, as they prepared to bring joy to peoples homes while collecting tzedakah. We saw walking chickens, the occasional ape, and a plethora of strange ties, coats, and headwear.

Traffic was a madhouse. Our bus detoured, it's normal route blocked. Finally, we arrived at our destination.

Many were clearly striving to fulfill the mitzvah of ad lo yada. As the wine flows, the secrets come out, or at least the emotions. Many a sight of incredible ahavas yisroel was noted, as men proclaimed their love and friendship for one another. Neighbors shouted their love for neighbors, friends for friends, and even strangers for their appreciation of their fellow Jew.

Leaving was as challenging as coming, as the many who came to share Shushan Purim in Jerusalem all began to head home. Buses were packed, standing room only, traffic was worse, if that was possible, than coming in. Yet, people entertained each others children, shared snacks and drinks, and true appreciation for their fellow.

All in all, Jerusalem on Shushan Purim was truly a place of ahavas yisroel and achdus. May we remember tomorrow the joy of today.

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