My first Purim

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My first choir performance was a very relaxed affair. For those who don’t know, a modern Purim is mostly a Jewish ‘halloween’, although probably with more alcohol. It is a mitzvah to drink until you cannot tell friend from foe, seriously.

Hence the whole night had a very laid back vibe, everyone seemed to be ready to poke fun at themselves in ways I had never previously seen. It is clearly a night when no one takes things particularly seriously and everyone thoroughly enjoys letting their multi-coloured hair down. I suspect that this is because there is actually little real ceremony about the holiday and then religious stuff is centred around a scroll that never mentions God, and that some think may actually be a satire anyway.

The megillah, or scroll of Esther is read aloud, and hearing it is the only real religious requirement of the evening, as far as I understand it. Keep in mind I am learning about this stuff as I go. The actual translation of the scroll, which we went through in our conversion class, is actually a story about how Jews were going to be wiped out but then instead turned the tables and killed over 75 000 of their foes. So, to me, Purim is a celebration of the fact that instead of being wiped out, the Jews destroyed their enemies. That rather than being persecuted for being who they are, for once they got their own back.

Singing in the choir was great fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Rabbi’s costume. Think animals that have the word ‘Rabbi’ in their name. There was a lot of alcohol, and the consumption of it certainly seemed as enthusiastic as I’d ever seen it. Nothing particularly excessive though, it was very much a family event. The vibe was very different though, very much a party, and not a religious occasion in any way. The shedding of all self-consciousness was really the highlight for me. That and singing prayers to pop music tunes.

Published by theundercoverjewess

Starting my conversion to Judaism...

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