Saturday, November 7, 2009
last shabbat, michal and i were reminiscing about halloween. not to be rude, we tried to include my daughter-in-law, gal, in the conversation. the closest thing, that we could relate it to, was the jewish holiday of purim; not that there is anything intrinsically, similar, except for the wearing of costumes. yes, on purim, we jews like to wear costumes. but it is also a day that it is a mitzvah to get drunk! we spend the day before it, fasting until the evening and then we go to synagogue and hear the megillah. at night, after we break our fast, some of us go to parties. we have a women's party every year in the old city, where we perform comical skits, drink a 'little' wine and eat 'some' cake. the next morning, we go back to synagogue and hear the megilla once again. we then give out food baskets with lots of goodies to our neighbors and friends. later in the day, we eat a huge seudah and drink lots of alcohol, until we can't tell the difference between : mordechai the righteous and haman the evil one. some say that we can perform this mitzvah by going to sleep but that's no fun! every year, around chanukah time, i am already thinking about what i want to dress up as, on purim. some people will only let the kids dress up as righteous characters from the megilla. every little jewish girl has been queen esther at least once. i have been in a couple of purim plays, but i myself, have never spent a purim dressed up as queen esther. i prefer to dress up as old time movie stars, or wacky hairdressers, or glamour queens. once, i would check out all the second hand clothes stores for outrageous dresses or wigs. the proprietress of one store would put the more 'interesting' items on the side for me. one year, i found a pair of silver, kneehigh, platformed, boots. in the past few years, we have seen, the imported halloween costumes, making their way into main stream israeli stores. now adays, you can basically, find everything. each year, i simply, head to the purim store and buy an assortment of the latest in halloween wigs. you can also find, almost, every accessory, if you are willing to shell out a bunch of money. there is no 'trick or treat' on purim. it is all treats! you start receiving the candy baskets in the morning, and just when you think you can't eat another hamantash or look at another chocolate bar, someone knocks at the door with another basket full of candies. the scariest thing about purim, besides the incredible amount of candy that we consume, is the occasional guest who passes out on your bathroom floor, after drinking too much wine. the kids here, are also crazy for firecrackers and love to explode them all day long on purim. they even set off stink bombs, the little angels! with all due respect to purim, i can still remember, one particular halloween, when i went to see the n.y.dolls at the waldorf astoria. we wannabee punkrockers, made havoc of the hotel. i won third prize in the costume contest as an art deco cigarette girl. i won a bottle of expensive champagne, which we immediately drank, and two tickets to a broadway show, which my parents really, enjoyed. i may be living in israel now, but i still have some memories.