Purim around here starts on Rosh Chodesh Adar (the first day of the Jewish month). For the past two weeks, very little in the way of formal learning has been going on. I try to tell myself that the girls have been getting a different kind of education:
Liat's grade (11) is always responsible for the annual Yerid Chesed--a carnival they organize to raise money for charity. It's a huge project, with all kinds of activities for kids, sales of new and used stuff, food and entertainment. The girls pretty much independently find donors, organize everything, plan and execute the whole thing. I'm thrilled that Liat was very involved this year. I went to the event and it was huge. Her class raised 32,000 shekel for their chosen charity.
Tali had her "hachtarah", of which the literal translation is "coronation". This is basically a series of "Purim Spiels [skits]" and dances. She was busy at nightly rehearsals for her performance. There was also a hachtarah for school, at which the "takanon Purim" was decreed. These are rules given by the students that are strictly enforced in the week before Purim. Some of them include allowing the use of cell phones during class. Another one is if the teacher steps on a particular, unknown square in the tile floor, the rest of the period is free. Like I said, not a whole lot of formal learning.
There were costume parties, "erev kitot" [night "classes"--dinner together prepared by the girls], sing-offs and more parties.
As for me, well I've been eating chocolate.
Yesterday, the girls and I went to listen to "Zachor". I heard it 6 times, so I figure I'm covered for the next 5 years. During the main reading, it was read 4 times--one time according to the Ashkenazi tradition, then the Sefardi one, then the Yemenite one, then--and this was strange--the American tradition. I didn't realize we even had a tradition; the truth is it sounded strange to my ears.
Last night we heard megillah with friends, followed by a pot luck party. This morning we went to a women's megillah reading, very popular here in Israel.
Soon, we'll sit down to our Purim Seudah [festive meal]. Hopefully, noone will have gone into diabetic shock and we can enjoy our double celebration.
Wishing all of you who are celebrating a very happy Purim.
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