It’s the return that’s the hardest. A friend of mine recently came back from a trip to Europe. After being back for four days, he told me he was finally able to sleep through the night and feels more acclimated to the Central time zone again. I have been back and forth to Europe several times and can transition to wherever I go really well. But it’s the return that is hard for me.
We have sprouts! So many that I have transplanted our parsley to a new pot. The lovely planting project during religious school on Tu B’shevat has resulted in parsley sprouts growing for Pesach. They grow a little more every day. I can’t help thinking as I watch them grow, that they are a metaphor for us, who also take weeks to get ready for Pesach.
Purim is upon us, so that means things are a bit mixed up and not everything is what it seems. So what else is new? I’ve noticed that it’s not just me who has been lamenting these topsy-turvy times in which we live. Are our times really unique or, now that we are the adults, is this just our turn? Both are true.
As the High Holy Days approached, the congregation needed a shofar blower. The rabbi rushed off an email to the congregation: Shofar Blower Needed! Tryouts: Monday, 5 pm.” She had no idea if anyone would come at such short notice. But three congregants were waiting in the sanctuary at the appointed time. The rabbi sat in the first row and said, “Please give me one tekiah gedolah and an explanation as to why you believe you should be our shofar blower.”
"Amazing" is an overused word, but I really am amazed at the work members of our community have put into this year's Purim Shpiel, "Li'l Orphan Esther". The talent, the sets, the costumes, the script, the directing, the music, the lighting, and the countless (literally) hours of rehearsal -- all amazing. When you settle in to watch the show, you will see (and hear) the fruits of their labor.
Our holidays are not merely points on a calendar; they are interlinking narratives. On Purim we feel precariousness; a month later we celebrate G’d’s redemption. Passover’s redemption climaxes with Shavuot’s revelation of Torah. Yom Kippur’s vulnerability is capped by Sukkot’s belief in divine providence.