Lessons Learned From My Sons, the Cheerleaders

I love Purim. I think it may be my favorite holiday during the year. Am I allowed to play favorites? Here are a few of the reasons that I love Purim, and that I enjoyed myself this year as much as I have in the past.

How often can I ask my six boys (and my husband) to dress as girls – and have them do so with glee?

How often do I get to hear Matan talk about all of the charities to which he could have given his money, and then hear him discuss why he gave it to the new shul in Itamar?

How often is singing completely off key seen as “just part of the fun?”

When else do we go to shul with the express purpose of making noise (lots and lots of noise)?


When I think about Purim, it embodies so much of what I love about Judaism. There is the story about triumph over evil, about faith and hope and perseverance. Then, there is the obligation to give charity to the poor – to remember those who are not as fortunate. There’s the obligation to offer gifts to others (and to receive gifts in exchange). And there’s the obligation to enjoy a festive and joyous meal with those you love.

What, really, could be more important? What could be more lovely? And, as one of my friends, Ruti, pointed out so poignantly, we are able to do all of this because of the young men and women defending us – here in our own country.


This year, I loved watching my boys relish in the fun of dressing up as girls.

They were cheerleaders, cheering for their mom (with the requisite cheer “2, 4, 6 8, who do we appreciate? Mommy, Mommy, GOOOO Mommy!”). When we first told the boys they would be cheerleaders, the younger ones were worried. “We’ll look so silly! People will make fun of us! We can’t be girls!”

I was surprised to see my older boys confidently explaining why it would be cool to be girls and why it would be so funny. During the day, they strutted and preened and had a fantastic time – even when they saw their friends and even when they ran into girls that they knew.

It tickled me to see their confidence and their ability to be silly and enjoy themselves, even while wearing a skirt and a wig.

There is enough to worry about on a daily basis in the world – raising children, working, keeping afloat financially, dealing with health issues and so much more. What a joy it is to have a day like Purim to enjoy together and to celebrate the elimination of the Hamans that threatened us – and that continue to threaten us to this day.

We all need a day when we can feel invincible like Superman,

and even feel safe and confident enough in our powers to take a brief nap and escape the worries of life.

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