It was a bit harder this year than in past years to get into the Purim spirit. But we did our best. Yakir, 2, has been home with an infection in his mouth for a week. He’s been screaming pretty much night and day (and since I now have the infection I can attest to JUST how much pain he was in). Nevertheless, last Friday, when the kids all dressed up for Purim in school, he managed to wake up in time and rally.
The night before, Josh came down with the flu, so it was a bit harder to get everyone off to school. However, he managed to get the tattoos painted on Yehuda’s (aka Koby Bryant’s) arm and the hairspray in Matan’s (aka James Harding’s) hair before sending them all off like this:
Josh spent all day Friday in bed trying to break his fever, while I cooked for our seudah (Purim meal) we would be having Sunday. Friday night at the Shabbat table, Josh was in bad enough shape that we ended up running out to get a medic and friend to see if we needed to go to the hospital. Hospital averted, we spent a chaotic Shabbat with me entertaining the kids and Josh burning up.
Purim started on Saturday night soon after Shabbat ended. There was no way that Josh was going to be able to get to shul, and there was no way for me to go because he couldn’t watch the baby. So, I quickly got the five older boys dressed in costume and they went off to hear Megilah reading without us. I was incredibly proud of them for sitting in shul completely un-supervised and being well behaved the entire time.
|The boys are ready for Megilah reading at night!|
Now the question was, how were we going to fulfill our obligation to hear Megilah? You are supposed to hear it both in the evening of Purim and in the morning. I called around to a few people who know how to read Megilah, all of whom said they would be happy to come to our home. Josh and I were laughing, as we were thinking about who to ask to come over for the reading, that there are so many people that we could ask. It’s just amazing to us how many people are capable of how many things here! Finally, I spoke to a neighbor who sent their teenage son over for a beautiful, perfectly delivered Megilah reading.
Mission accomplished for the evening. Kids had a great time at the reading and we heard Megilah. I even got familiar with the 24 hour pharmacy in Jerusalem, as I had to head there to get more meds for Josh. We all went to sleep that night, with the excitement in the air for Purim the next morning….only to be woken by Zeli (4) throwing up in the middle of the night.
Yep, flu number 2.
He proceeded to burn up the entire night and to spend half the night in the bathroom. In the morning, when I told the kids that Zeli was really sick they said, “Oh no! Daddy was sick and we were down to six dwarfs. Now we are going to be Snow White and the 5 dwarfs? We are losing dwarfs every minute!”
And, indeed, we were. We managed to get Josh and Zeli into costume for one picture (and one picture only).
Having spent six months talking about our outfits and preparing for the day, we were all very disappointed that our dwarfs were dropping like flies. Josh recounted that, when I took the five dwarfs out to give out goodies around the neighborhood, the two sick dwarfs sat on the couch and burst into tears.
While they nursed their flus, we managed to have some fun delivering Mishloach Manot (packages you give out on Purim) and playing golf. Yep, you read that correctly. Our hysterical friend, Chaim Sherman, takes the opportunity every Purim to use that tempting green and those lovely flowers at the front of the yishuv for a heated round of golf. Everyone got into the action and had a great time.
|Oh yeah, we start em young with the golf game|
While we practiced our swing, Josh experienced another beautiful and touching moment in the morning. Without being asked, the same young man who read for us at night showed up in the morning to read the Megilah. When Josh asked him how he knew to come he said, “My mom said you were still sick. So here I am.” (She knew Josh was still sick since she was the excellent photographer of our one family picture.) Josh was touched that this person arranged his schedule for this selfless act and that he came so readily to assist the sick.
Our seudah, (traditional Purim meal) ended up being much smaller than anticipated, as we had two with flu who were uninvited and three with colds who were also banished. Those of us who remained enjoyed delicious Chinese food and good company.
And thus ended the less-than-ideal Purim. It has allowed for three take-aways in my home.
1. We certainly appreciate good health and pray that our family and dear friends will all find ourselves in only the best of health for future Purims.
2. We are blessed to be surrounded by selfless, caring people (and their amazing kids who drop everything to come to our rescue!)
3. Our kids are already dreaming about Purim 5774 and the awesome costumes that they plan to put together.
Nothing like giving them the incentive to plan ahead!