Thursday, March 16, 2017


Batsheva arrived Thursday night (hooray!) and we went right into a crazy busy weekend.  First, we had our mishloach manot food goodie bags to prepare.   Penina and I had been shopping last week and she saw little bags of peanuts along with popcorn containers and, suddenly, a baseball-themed MM came into form.  It was so cute!  Except lacking in baseball-ness, as every store we looked at had stickers and other trinkets that were *soccer* themed.  Or maybe basketball.  But not baseball (despite the fact that Israel just won its first four games in the World Baseball Classic before losing in Tokyo on Monday....And despite that our town actually built a baseball field).  No baseballs, though.  Thanks to Amazon Prime and Batsheva, however, we had baseball stickers and squishy baseballs (non-edible) to put in our mishloach manot.

But that led to the whole question of costumes, which led to a grand plan of going as the Red Sox, which led to another realization: it's not particularly easy to come by Red Sox paraphernalia in a country that is not baseball-crazy and is 6000 miles from Boston.  And we couldn't just call Cousin Noah to dig into his stash of Sox stuff and bail us out.  So I went to several thrift store gemachs and bought all the red shirts they had.  Which wasn't much, because many people here don't wear red as it's considered too attention-getting/not modest.  By this point, I didn't know whether to laugh or bang my head against the wall!  "And to think it all started with those little packages of peanuts.  Drat those peanuts!"

We eventually cobbled together costumes, borrowed a bat and a glove (also not easy to find!), took our own copies of Megilat Esther to read along with (it's "bring your own book" here) and headed into Purim.
I'm selling popcorn for 100 shekels.  As you may be able to tell, we had a little disagreement over whether to be the Red Sox in English or Hebrew :)
For our festive meal, we had Liat's family over (we decided to make it a tradition with them!) and then, hooray again, Rhona, Erik, Avigail and Eitan made it over for one last visit before their flight left at midnight.

We finally had the experience of yeshiva guys (collecting money for tips for their rebbes) dancing in our house.  We had two groups and they were very cute.  Perhaps because it was early in the day and no one had overindulged in the Purim custom of drinking "until you don't know the difference between 'cursed is Haman' and 'blessed is Mordechai'" (although I prefer Rambam's sensible thoughts that one must drink enough to get sleepy and that's it).  Anyway, each group asked permission to enter before singing, dancing in a circle with Shalom Shachne, getting their tzedakah contribution and leaving.

The next morning, Ilana and I helped repackage unwanted mishloach manot goodies for orphans and poor children in Jerusalem.  Together, the group packaged 1600!
my neighbor, Kara, took this photo
On Monday, I had another "first time" experience when Batsheva and I went into the walled city of Jerusalem to celebrate Shushan Purim (for an in-depth understanding, please see this article).  It was quite the happening time in both the Old City and the New, with a big street festival and street performers all over the city,

people in costume (our favorites were a gladiator trying in vain to hail a cab [chariot have a flat tire?]

and a King David-esque young man walking a goat on a leash while shlepping his modern-day gear bag], 

tons of tzedakah collectors (we were prepared and even brought extra mishloach manot to give out) 

and my favorite thing to see: curbside megillah readings!

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