Purim started for us here as Shabbat went out. We changed from Shabbat clothes to Purim outfits and ran to shul to hear Megillah.
|I'm the brunette.|
After Megillah was a children's Purim party - pizza, prizes, magic show and, as a clean-up act, my husband (the blonde) doing Purim stand-up.
Then came the most intense, spiritual part of the evening. A few years ago, I started reciting all of Sefer Tehillim at chatzot (halachic midnight) on Purim night. It's a powerful segula for getting one's prayers answered, but it's not for the faint of heart. It takes about 3 hours to say all 150 chapters, leaving one groggy and sleep deprived the next day.
|One of our beautiful daughters, channeling her inner nerd.|
Our seudah with extended family was notable for two things - the time it took to drive there (forever!) and the, ahem..., lengthy "dvar Torah" given by a hilarious, somewhat inebriated family member. Following that, we went to another Purim party and saw lots of old friends from Baltimore. It's amazing how many families we knew in the Old Country are here now.
Shushan Purim in Jerusalem was our opportunity to walk around and see the sights.
|The public buses wished all a Happy Purim.|
|The streets were crawling with tiny brides, though I did not see a single boy dressed as a groom.|
|One of many sounds systems blaring Purim music in the streets of Jerusalem.|
|Insanely expensive mishloach manot for sale. The big one was priced at 299 shekels - about 85 bucks! |
Who buys this stuff?
|A young girl standing at a bus stop, holding a mishloach manot parcel that included a sefer (Torah book). |
Hunh?! In ours, we included fruit, candy and chocolate wafers.
|Some (possibly inebriated) young men singing and dancing Purim songs on a balcony in Geula.|
|More (possibly inebriated) young men dancing and singing in an open trailer being pulled through Malchei Yisrael.|
|Many, many, many opportunities to fulfill one of the major mitzvot of the day - giving charity.|
As Shushan Purim went out, we had the chance to attend a henna ceremony (our first!) in advance of the wedding of the son of close friends.
|The "chuppah", set with many symbols of the henna ceremony, none of which I understood, though I did see people dancing with the disk-like things as the party got going.|
|The incredibly fun, loosey goosey dancing toward the end of the henna ceremony.|
|My very own decorative henna. I'll cherish it forever. Or until it wears off.|
|Finally, in the spirit of Purim silliness, here is something unusual that I discovered in my kitchen today.|
Mutant bananas - two bananas in one skin. Even God has a sense of humor on Purim.