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Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Lots" of Joy

Today I returned to the place of my first service, my mom's retirement community. Last time, in an emotional service, we dedicated a Torah scroll in my dad's memory (see the February 12th posting). Today was the ribald celebration of Purim.

Purim is the costume and noise maker celebration of an averted genocide of all Jews from India to Ethiopia. Foolish partying to celebrate the then reprisal murder of our enemies. Cool.

As strange as a silly party to mark an averted genocide is the larger Biblical story that includes the pimping of a nice Jewish girl by her politically shrewd uncle and the near gang rape of the queen and ends with the hanging of all ten sons of the villain.

On the other hand, 60 or so of us laughed and booed. There is something quite powerful rabbi-ing for folks in their eighties and nineties and one or two past 100. Laughter comes easily and yet they have seen so much. The story contains sex, murder, deception, revenge, power, evil and stupidity. Unlike the kids who are the usual target for the story, these real adults know the darkest period of Jewish history, some up-front and personally. And their enjoyment contained wisdom. A gift for me.

And then as pictured, Ray (and I) ate Hamantashen.
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1 comment:

  1. My mom she said she never saw the lady in front of her laugh so hard and that you were better than their best Saturday night show. Then she taught me the Lord and Taylor joke you told while waiting for more Hamantashen. Glad your mom is home.