Posted by: gruvenreuven | March 3, 2010

Topsy Turvy Purim

I think the most non-Jewish holiday on the Jewish calendar is Yom Kippur. I say that tongue in cheek, but what I mean is… it’s the only Holiday where we don’t feast in simcha. How does that saying go? “They tried to kill us, we overcame, they failed, let’s eat!”

Purim! Now there’s a Jewish Holiday. Purim is all about a big festive meal! Matter of fact one of the four Mitzvot of Purim is to have a festive meal (Seudah Purim.) The other Mitzvot are: To hear the Megillah being read (Mikra Megillah), Giving Charity to the Poor (Matanos l’Evyonim) & Sending Gifts of Food (Mishloach Manos)

Normally, Purim for me is a wild good time. It’s a topsy turvy type of day where anything goes. We dress up in costumes; joke around with each other, and even drink a little more then we really should.

This Purim, Hashem had other plans for me…..

Friday night about 2 hours before Shkiah I started to feel sick. With a sore throat and being tired and rundown, I opted not to go to Shul. The thought of the walk back after the day’s 6-12” snow storm, would definitely put me out of commission. Instead, I looked forward to Davening at home, and my wife’s Shabbos soup. I couldn’t remember the last time I missed Kabbalat Shabbat services at shul, but knew if I went I’d probably be too sick for Purim.

As it turned out, it was an awful meal. My 4year old must have turned the oven knob down from 450 to 200. The Burners once on, were shut off!! The Turkey was no where near done. The soup, once hot, was now stone cold. We had to opt for cold cuts. My throat that was yearning for some toasty warm soothing food had to settle for a Saturday Kiddish type of fare. I had some parve ice cream, benched and went straight to bed.

In the morning I couldn’t get up for shul. There was just no way. Spent the day in bed, didn’t even get out of bed to Daven. After Shabbat I forced myself to shower, dress and drag my sorry tuchas (and my sons) to Shul for the Maariv Megillah reading. I sat in the back, (away from everyone) with my coat on shivering. After the Megillah reading I made a B-Line back home and to bed.

In the morning in some sort of window of opportunity, I felt well enough to go to Shul for Shacharis and hear the morning Megillah reading. My son’s Hebrew school was having a Purim party that I observed at a distance (propped up against a door post for support.) After the mini party I made a quick stop at our kosher Acme market for Shloach Manos items. With the snow storm before Purim, I never got my act together in regards to our Shloach Manos. I got home and went back to bed in preparation of our Shul’s 4:30 Megillah reading and Seudah/Party. My wife and sons put together the Shloach Manos baskets.

Waking up for the party, I felt worse then before I took the extended nap. We were having a Hawaiian themed party, so I threw on a Hawaiian shirt for a costume and took the family to the party. It was a great time, or so they told me. I hung out in the back away from everyone. Forced myself to eat a little… Went home… Facilitated an over the phone learning session with an awesome family I am learning with and went to bed.

As a wave hits the shore, so did Purim… It was over. Unlike most Jewish Holidays, Purim is only one day here in the States. There is no Purim Sheni, no second day, and no eight day festival. Purim comes and goes all too quickly.

3 days post Purim; I’m starting to get back in the swing. I finally made it back to shul this morning for Shacharis. My nasal passages are finally fully functional, and I’m looking forward to Shabbos (and the guest we will be hosting.)

My Purim wasn’t as pathetic as this post sounds… There really was simcha in my heart even though my body wasn’t having any of it. The sight of my 4 year old dressed as Dash from the Incredibles running around the function hall with his friend dressed as The Flash, was way cute. My 11year old dressed up as “Accident Boy” wearing 2 leg braces and a sling. It was hilarious as pretty much everyone was shocked and greeted him with an “Oh no! What happened?” It’s Purim, he would say in matter of fact sort of way. Looking back, I am amazed I made it to 3 Megillah readings and followed every word. Don’t know who we gave Shloach Manos to… I know I gave a basket to my Chavrusa that stopped by our house during the day. I know my sons & wife each gave a basket to friends, but I sort of missed the exchange. I guess Purim being a Topsy Turvy holiday where we take the normal and flip it on its head; this is what you get when you flip Topsy Turvy. Was definitely a Purim I’ll remember for a long time.

Growing up a sports fan in Philadelphia, we have a saying… Wait ‘till next year! (In Jerusalem b’ezrat Hashem!)

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