Friday, February 26, 2010

The Sweet Taste of Purim

For the last few days Harrison has literally been nipping at the bit, so to say, for hamentaschen; a cookie made during the Jewish holiday of Purim.

I love Purim, I do believe it is one of my favorite Jewish holidays, albeit a minor holiday. Okay, it could be that I get a kick out of the fact that Judaism has a holiday that actually promotes drinking. But before you go all postal on me, let me just share this quote from Judaism 101 Dot Com
We are also commanded to eat, drink and be merry. According to the Talmud, a person is required to drink until he cannot tell the difference between "cursed be Haman" and "blessed be Mordecai," though opinions differ as to exactly how drunk that is. A person certainly should not become so drunk that he might violate other commandments or get seriously ill. In addition, recovering alcoholics or others who might suffer serious harm from alcohol are exempt from this obligation.

I remember how surprised I was when I first learned about Purim during a class about Judaism at the first synagogue I worked at. I was the only born-again Christian sitting in the room and I about fell off my chair, to think - they want you to drink on that day! Now if you wonder why I was so shocked, I as a Mid-Western Christian had a preconceived idea of Judaism based on three movies that lean toward Orthodox [based] Jewish traditions.

Are you ready?
Yentl - Barbra Streisand
The Jazz Singer - Neil Diamond
Fiddler on the Roof - Topol

Yup. Everything I once knew about Judaism, I learned from musicals.

Now for me, Purim is like a Jewish Halloween - in terms of celebration and dressing up in costumes (sans spooky, scary characters), only it IS a religious holiday based on the Biblical book of Esther.

As much as Halloween may have some {loose} roots in Christianity (I'm not going into the history of All Saints Day, etc), it is considered by most religions, including many Christian denominations, as a pagan holiday not a religious holiday.

So today, as we move into Purim, Harrison got to celebrate Queen Esther all day, eat hamentaschen, wear his favorite pajamas to school (it was a pajama theme this year) and run around and around the Temple Patio in the form of a "parade" with all his friends.

Wow, I think he got the best of both worlds in Preschool these last couple of years.

As for that long hair, he's been getting tangles in the back lately. I told his that's what happens when hair is a little longer...

He wants short hair again.