Monday morning and the last day of Purim. This has been the first year of preschool for my 3 year old and I feel the flow of the holidays much more. Being a secular Jew loving tradition, it is easy to follow Jewish tradition living in Israel. My children can take part in the fun and excitement of the holidays and simultaneously learn their history.
Before each Jewish holiday preschool children are prepared at least a week in advance. They read stories, act out plays, give gifts to the poor, learn songs, and all things related to the holiday. Instead of "it's a holiday!" the children are asked the question and given the answer to, "why is this a holiday?". For one week now, my son has come home with something new to tell me or show me about Purim. Last Friday he came home with the story of Esther written on a 'scroll'. He explained to me how the Jews were saved from Haman.
What is fascinating is that he carries the scroll with him now every-time we leave the house. His life has suddenly been connected to thousands of years of generations. I was reminded of a passage from the book of Esther when Mordecai says to her, " ... and who knows but that you were brought to royal estate for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)
This passage is the essence of Purim. I was reading through a book of mine that explains it perfectly, "no Jew can ever be written off, that a spark exists that may at some point be ignited, that a commitment to the Jewish people can be as deeply felt by one who is at the very periphery of the community as by one who is at its center." (How to Run A Traditional Jewish Household)
Our family celebrated Purim this year in every possible way. We watched the local parade, ate, ate and ate goodies given by friends and family, gave to the poor, dressed up, painted our faces, played in all the venues for kids but this year was a little different - Esther's scroll came every time! Childhood is a gift to witness!
[ HAPPY PURIM!!]