"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

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Thursday, March 24, 2016


--So today is Purim, a wonderfully fun, one day holiday.  Allow me to tell you more about it.  First I will summarize the story, which comes form the Biblical book of Esther; I have told it here before, but that was a couple years ago, and I don't expect everybody remembers.  After I tell the story, I will share how I personally am celebrating this year.

--The story:

  1. The Purim story takes place in the lands of Persia and Media.  King Ahashverosh (as I said yesterday, this is a transliteration of his Hebrew name, because I can't spell the English version) has a party which lasts for 180 days and nights.  After a while, he invites his queen, Vashti, to join him; legend has it he wants her to come naked.  For whatever reason, Vashti refuses to come, and the king has her banished or beheaded, depending whom you ask.
  2. After a while, the king is lonely and wants a new queen.  He decides to hold a beauty pageant.  A Jewish maiden named Esther is living with her uncle or cousin (the Hebrew wording is ambiguous) Mordecai, who encourages her to go try.  However, he also cautions her not to tell her Jewish identity.  Esther follows Mordecai's instructions faithfully, and wins the contest. She is now the queen.
  3. There is in the land a wicked man named Haman, an adviser to the king.  Haman wants all the people in the land to bow down to him, but Mordecai refuses because he is a Jew and bows only to God.  Haman's anger flares up until he wants to kill not only Mordecai but all the Jews of the land.  He gets the king to sign off on it, and a date is set for the massacre.
  4. Upon hearing this news, Mordecai turns to Esther and pleads with her to go before the king.  Esther at first responds that nobody can go before the king without an invitation.  Mordecai then tells her that perhaps she was placed in the palace just for this.  Moreover, if she does not help the Jewish people, help will arise for them from another corner and they will be saved, while Esther herself will perish.
  5. Esther responds "if I perish, I perish" and appears before the king uninvited.  The king grants her request for him and Haman to appear at a dinner party that evening.  At the party, Esther invites them to a second party, and at that party, she reveals Haman's plan to the king.
  6. Haman is hanged on the very gallows he built for Mordecai, along with his ten sons.  The Jews of Persia and Media are allowed to take up arms and fight back on the day of the "massacre"...and they win.
--How I personally celebrate:
  1. I went to synagogue last night to hear the reading of Esther.  One is obligated to hear every word, but I quickly gave up because there were so many children running around making noise. Sami came dressed as "the Broadway version of Peter Pan" because his costume was brown, not green.  Creative, Sami, very creative...so creative, in fact, that he won the synagogue's "most creative" award.  I went wearing my gay pride kippah...Purim is the only night/day I feel comfortable in it.
  2. Today when I get dressed (I let myself sleep late because I got home late, and now I'm doing this blog post) I will wear a ladies' tallit katan, my fancy bobby pins, my gay pride kippah, and my rainbow flowered skirt.
  3. I am taking a day off from graduate school applications and looking for work.
  4. Several people at the synagogue gave me mishloah manot, gifts of food items, mainly hamentaschen (special triangular cookies with various fillings) and candy.  I have been allowing myself to enjoy them, on the understanding that this is all the junk food I get this week.  During the reading of Esther, I ate all my hamentaschen (remember, I had been fasting all day) and most of Sami's.  Sami is vegan and doesn't eat sugar, and offered me whatever I wanted from his mishloah manot; I took the hamentaschen, and not much else.
  5. I plan to read the Book of Esther again, in English, as my Bible reading for the day.
--And...there you have it! That's Purim.

--And...please meet "BAYLEE," aging out in JUNE.  Her birth date says 2004 but that must be a misprint; they must mean 2002 or she wouldn't be on that page.  "Baylee" is dealing with meningocele.

Baylee (1)

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!