Friday, March 5, 2010

Purim x2

There's Purim and there's Shushan Purim. Shushan Purim is celebrated in walled cities, such as Jerusalem. And it's celebrated indeed!

I decided I was going to celebrate regular Purim. This year was a little more complicated because Purim fell out on a Motzei Shabbat, which meant that I would have to be outside of Jerusalem on Motza"sh to hear Megillah, and since Megillah is read before havdalah, I would have to be whereever I was going to be for Purim, for Shabbat.

I went home (Chashmonaim) (as a side note, I was home for the past month of Shabbatot. That is so rare; the last time I was home for a month was the month before I made aliyah) for Shabbat. And heard Megillah in Chashmonaim. Then I went to Yosef's because he was having a party at his house. I borrowed a sari/saree from Shana and even though Madoor (an Indian guy from Ulpan) showed me how to tie it and he helped me pin it where it was supposed to, it took me about 20-30 minutes to wrap; man, those things are complicated. When you don't know what you're doing. On Sunday morning I heard Megillah in Raanana and I was supposed to go back to Chashmonaim for seudah...which I thought was at 3...and turned out to be at 1:30. I found this out at about 11:30... I quickly packed up my stuff and Yosef took me to the bus. I waited for the bus. And waited. And then one of the buses drove by, stopped about 3 feet from the curb and said that the buses aren't stopping at that stop, but only certain stops including Aluf Sade. Ok, fine, take a bus to Aluf Sade. And again, wait. And wait. And it's now 1 pm. There was no way I was making it to seudah because of all the traffic. Back-up plan: Call Eli and Avi and see if I can come to them for seudah. And they said yes! Yay! ...Ok, go back on the bus to Bar Ilan and follow the directions to the supermarket, pick up stuff, and go to Eli and Avi's. Oh, yeah, and in the rain. Yay! (I'm not sure if that was sarcastic or not; you decide).
Seudah was really nice. Really nice. It was a bunch of people from Bar Ilan, most of whom I'd already met. I wore my sari, but it kept getting the way, like every time I bent down. I have to learn how to work it. I did figure out a way to tie it up, but it didn't look so good. Whatever; I'll practice more.
After 6 pm the buses were running normally, so around 7:30-8 I left Eli and Avi's and went to the bus and got home. :)

Shushan Purim:
Monday morning I went into Jerusalem (I stayed in Chashmonaim overnight so I didn't have to worry about hearing Megillah in the morning, because outside of walled cities it wasn't Purim anymore) and went to the Sadehs for seudah. It was the first time I met Yaffa and the rest of the kids (well, the rest of the boys anyway; the one girl wasn't there) and it was a lot of fun. The seudah was long and crazy and there was tons and tons of food.
Aside from the seudah, Jerusalem itself was nuts. There were firecrackers and fireworks being set off everywhere you turned-- pretty, but I'm pretty sure that there were lots of burns and other injuries, seeing as it was mostly kids who were doing them. For a shock, there were lots of drunk people...gee...
The best part, though, was the buses. The buses normally have the route number and the direction written on them-- for Purim it alternated between the route number/direction and the route number/פורים שמח ("Purim sameach"-- Happy Purim") and the music on the buses was Purim music. I love it...can't wait for Pesach!

That's one of the amazing things about being here, about living in Israel. It's MY country, MY holidays, and MY people. I mean, people gave bus drivers mishloach manot (aka shalach manos, aka packages of food that you give out on Purim)-- think about this! Do people give the bus drivers in New York candy canes on Christmas? Or candy bars on Halloween? I love it.

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