Monday, March 09, 2009

795. Money

Sneak peak just for readers of this blog: if you could be at my synagogue tonight, which most of you can't, you might hear a woman chanting chapters 4, 5 and 6 of Megillat Esther while wearing a short green wig and the tiara and shirt pictured at left. Yes, I am dressing up as the economic recovery package. Since this is a holiday of masks and antitheses, being and doing what one usually is not, adorning myself in money seems to be the perfect opposite of the rest of my life. Purim is also about making fun of what's scary; the state of the economy fits that criteria. In keeping with the times, this costume is also green in all senses of the word. When I'm done, I will carefully un-pin the bills and recycle them by re-depositing them into my bank account. (Except for the part that will go to matanot l'evyonim, of course.)

And an hour before I drape myself in money, I will lead a shiva minyan. The timing is a tight--I had a nightmare last night about not getting to services in time to read--but I agreed to do it because I know the rabbis will be much busier getting into very complicated costumes (such as the 7-foot-tall chicken of a few years ago), and also because it's a chance for me to say Mourner's Kaddish away from the usual cacophony and merriment of the evening. Purim is my mother's yahrtzeit, and I'm sure she will be somewhere at that moment enjoying my green hair, proud that I am helping others get to the point where they can laugh again one day, as well. The contrast between these two events, the shiva minyan and the bizarre and happy Purim service, seems to express the meaning of this holiday much better than just showing up and getting drunk. (Which I never do. May be a few years from now when I know the Megillah reading much, much better.)

Hag Purim Sameah! (And please don't drink too much.)

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