Ki Yachol Nuchal!

New olah; mom and wife. In small ways, every day, trying to rectify the error in judgement of my zaydies, the meraglim. "See these big grapes? We can make really big wine!"

Archive for the ‘Purim’ Category

Jews 1, Haman, zip. Bli ayin hara, puh-puh-puh.

Posted by rutimizrachi on 11/03/2009

Yom chamishi, 16 Adar 5769.

This Purim, we put a serious dent in the devil’s dump truck.

We started the day with our traditional “healthy breakfast,” which has been a staple of our Purim celebration since the boys were little kids.  Cereal boxes, emptied of their air-puffed contents, filled instead with candy.  “Orange juice” tasting suspiciously of RC “Q” orange soda pop.  (I love to say “soda pop,” because it drives East Coasters crazy.)
Breakfast is served in pots and pans, instead of bowls, and eaten with wiggly plastic flatware that we have managed to hang onto through 15 Purims.  If we would ever decide that the boys had outgrown this peculiar custom, they have informed us that we would be traded in for more sensitive parents.

 The kids were funny.  Their self-designed costumes were cute and inexpensive, and fulfilled the time-honored concept of letting one’s “true self” shine through.   Clowns, and seriously unthreatening “punks.”  The young hopefuls.  (Sigh.)

We were blessed to start the day with an email from our dear friend, Nisan Jaffee.  He had written one of his famous grommens.  (How do you say that?  Grommenim?  Grommenot?  You know you’re no longer an olah chadasha when you are now inept in two or three languages…)  Nisan sang a funny and sad tune about all of his old friends who had made aliyah.  Since he is a master of capturing one’s character, and we could “hear” his voice rich with the Virgin Islands, singing the tune — it gave us laughter and smiles and sighs.  It touched on the one difficult aspect of our Purim in Israel:  We really miss our dear friends in Baltimore.

We shared the seuda with two neighboring families — our Sephardi Israeli landlords, and an Ashkenazi Israeli family that lives across the street.  We shared pieces of languages; and everyone patiently and humorously attempted to communicate.  I actually got little Yinon’s joke, b’Ivrit!  

“Which radio station is mentioned in Tanach?”  The answer is “Kol Yisrael.”  I got a nice smile out of Yinon, and a visual “atta girl,” when I said, “Not Galgalatz?”  (For anyone not yet in the know, Galgalatz is a very funky radio station designed to entertain soldiers.  A fuller explanation can be found at What War Zone???, Benji Lovitt’s blog.)  Before and after a delicious potluck feast, we shared a common language, known for leveling the playing field.  Everyone brought out instruments, and made joyful music together.  We discovered that Rav Reuven has remarkable rhythm playing that famous instrument, the fancy wine corkscrew.  A natural percussionist!

There were interesting discussions about (I think, if I translated correctly,) the nature of good disguised behind evil in the world, and questions of what can the Jew of today gain from the celebration of Purim.  How does the observance of Purim b’zman hazeh help to bring the Geula?

A lovely night was topped off with the Stunt Man’s tribute to Nisan Jaffee, which he wrote on and off through the day.  In it he included verses about many of our friends in Baltimore, and some about new friends here.  Since he is a budding master of capturing one’s character, his performance filled us with laughter and smiles and sighs.*

For me the most precious thing is that our teenangels kept our contract:  We simple Jews do not in this day understand the inyan to drink oneself silly quite well enough to “get so drunk, one cannot tell the difference between blessed is Mordechai and cursed is Haman.”   They drank enough wine to tear down the walls between Jews; but nobody got sloppy and sick.  Nobody forgot for Whom he works.

The main theme of today’s post is as follows.  Purim 5769 will go down in the chronicles as the first in a long time in which there was for our family light, joy, gladness and honor…  and good, clean, honest kef.

So may it be for us — and all of the House of Israel — for all future Purims.

 *Before you even ask, we are hoping to create a video of Stunt Man singing his grommen for a future blog post.
Haman:  bad guy in the Purim story
Soda pop:  soda, or pop, depending on where you grew up
Grommen:  a short verse, often in rhyme, often poking gentle fun
Olah chadasha:  a female new immigrant to Israel
Seuda:  festive meal
B’zman hazeh:  in these days
Inyan:  main theme
Kef:  fun.  Interestingly, there is no word in the Hebrew language for “fun.”  We had to take this from the Arabic.     

Posted in Purim | 2 Comments »

Seeking a colorful life among friends in the Holy Land.

Posted by rutimizrachi on 08/03/2009

Yom rishon, 12 Adar 5769.

The sign says “Please stop at the gate and say hello to the guard.”

There are a lot of reasons to love Neve Daniel.  There are a lot of reasons to love the LNO (one of the local online chat lists).  And there are a lot of reasons to love Purim.

Here’s what it looks like when all three get delightfully together.

Does anyone know of a costume store or Gemach in the Jerusalem area?

Does anyone have native American squaw moccasins size 8/40 women?

Anyone have a man’s necklace we can borrow for Purim? And/or a devil’s
pitchfork? Red trousers for a 13 year old boy?

Does anyone have a pirate patch we could borrow please?

I need a cane for Purim — does anyone have one to loan?
Oh — will whoever borrowed the pirates and Indian costumes last year please let me know who you are — I did not write it down, and though I do not need them, several people have asked to use them this year. May we all have a great PURIM!!!

Does anyone have a revolver or gun I can borrow?

Oops!  Forgot the most important word:
Does anyone have a TOY revolver or gun I can borrow for Purim???

I’m still looking for a chickie or duck costume for a 1 year old.
Anyone have one to lend?

Anybody have Chinese or Japanese costume materials for an eight year old girl to borrow?     

Don’t forget that today in the Ulam Semachot from 4pm is Ipur-Purim.

There will be make-up artists to make up the kids’ faces, and other activities such as costume and gragger making.

Does anyone have a turtle/tortoise costume that I can borrow for this
Wednesday? (Size 10/12)

Anybody have a Minnie Mouse costume for an eight year old? Or maybe pieces of a costume?
Mickey Mouse ears?

Anyone have a size 4/5 or a size 6/7 lion costume (or a 6/7 monkey costume)
that we could borrow?

 looking to borrow fireman or cowboy costume for an almost 5 year old boy

Yonatan wants to dress up as a chassid or Matisyahu.
Have you got square glasses or a jacket/coat thing that will look like a bekeshe??

Does anyone have a costume that we can borrow for Purim…about 12 month size?  Nothing hazardous or too uncomfortable.  If anyone has a lion or bear costume, that would be ideal.  Alternatively, does anyone have ideas for a simple home-made baby costume?

Last minute costume request – nothing in my shoe collection seems to fit the classic, conservative look of early 1900’s England, go figure.

If anyone has a size (US) 7-8 pair of semi-heeled, closed dressy shoes (not sandals)  that I could borrow for the week it would be much appreciated.

I’ll take any color – gray, black, red, white – somewhat desperate here.

It is my prayer that everyone found what he or she needed to complete these no doubt interesting and colorful ensembles.  And that I may be blessed to watch this delightful costume parade every year, for many years.

Gemach:  “store” offering free or very low-cost items or services, usually for special occasions or purposes
Ulam Semachot:  “Simcha Hall”; community meeting hall
Ipur:  make-up

Chassid:  in this case, a Jew dressed in traditional Eastern European garb, consisting of a long coat, hat, and side curls
Mattisyahu:  important character in Jewish history
Bekeshe:  long black coat worn by various sects of Jews of European descent

Posted in LNO, Neve Daniel, Purim | 6 Comments »

Purim is coming. Embrace the silly.

Posted by rutimizrachi on 04/03/2009

Yom shlishi, 8 Adar 5769.

Here is a little Purim wisdom, shared by My Hero, the Dearly Beloved.  You decide.

I think this particular headgear brings out the Norwegian in him.
Disclaimer:  The Dearly Beloved remarks that he is referring to the old TV program, rather than to the movie version, in which he found no redeeming value of any kind.  Stunt Man agrees with his father, stating, as follows:  “I would rather stick nine-inch nails into my eyes than be forced to watch that movie.”  [Sigh.]  I am looking forward to returning to our regular pre-Purim programming.

Posted in Purim | 3 Comments »