Saturday, March 21, 2015

Purim Sameach!

Apparently, it's been a while.  Oops!  I promise an update on Ethiopian cooking later this week, but in the meantime, below are some photos from Purim in Israel, which occurred a few weeks ago.  Purim is another holiday in which we celebrate the fact that someone tried to kill us, he failed, and the Jews survived, largely thanks to the courage of Queen Esther who risked her own life to speak up on behalf of her people.  Unlike other Jewish holidays of a similar theme - this one involves costumes and lots of merriment! In fact, the whole month of Adar is supposed to be joyful. If you want a more in-depth explanation of Purim, here are the Cliff Notes. I experienced many purim festivities including a secret friend (secret santa) gift exchange at Tebeka, the legal aid non-profit where I volunteer a couple days a week, a neighborhood purim festival, and the boarding school adliyada parade in Sde Boker (which was preceded by an amazing night camping in the desert)!  It is also typical to exchange gift baskets filled with sweets on Purim.  My favorite was one I received from a woman to whom I teach English. Instead of sweets she included a few rounds of injera and some misr wot.  She knows me well!

Hanging out with a friend's daughter at the neighborhood purim party.

Molly and I playing at the neighborhood purim party.

Trying to piece together the clues (in Hebrew) to figure out who my "secret
friend" was at the Tebeka purim party. 
And now some photos of the amazing purim parade at Sde Boker environmental boarding school.  Each grade level competes against the other.  They each pick a theme, make enormous structures from recycled materials, papier mache and other items to go along with their theme, and then dress in costumes and choreograph dances that they perform in the parade.  I'm pretty sure this is what everyone wants their teenage children to stay up all night doing. The themes were: monsters, the farm, Dr. Seuss, and forest/mystical creatures.