Saturday, March 18, 2006

294. Piñata whacking


After we sang the evening prayers to reggae tunes and the Macarena, we watched "Dick," aka a rabbi with a "gun," run around the sanctuary with his "hunting buddy," the other rabbi, in pursuit of a big yellow chicken. (Yes, the third rabbi.) But, oops! He shot his friend by mistake. Sorry. The cantor, dressed as a frighteningly convincing Secret Service agent, strolled around the sanctuary with an earpiece and big yellow rubber hammer and threatened to bop non-complaints on the head. In between karaoke, piñata whacking, and invasion by a marauding band of cross-dressers flinging condoms stamped with hechschers (Kosher certification) to the crowd, we read the Megillah. But amidst the weirdness, in ways I can't really explain, ran a clear strand of purpose and kavannah, spiritual intention. This was a religious service. We might be laughing and cursing, but the parchment scroll of Esther was handled with reverence. "Methinks thou dost protest too much;" the rabbis' attempts to be sacrilegious were so extreme that they confirmed the opposite, and also showed how easy it is for anyone, even the most good among us, to forget how to be good.

(To be continued.)

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