§307 Two days off at home – Happy Purim!March 11, 2009
During these two days my wife has been able to take some “time off” from taking care of the kids, and has been able to concentrate on her studies. She really needed that. I have been spending most of my time these two days with the kids. During this time we accomplished:
1 – Play throw the ball with the 1-year old and look at animal pictures
2 – Build lego
3 – Take a long walk where we dropped off a purim basket of candy (mishloach manot) to friends and received another one in return.
4 – Watch three “Dora the Explorer” episodes
5 – Build a “koja” under the table (what the Americans call “fort” – only we regard it as a funny house, and don’t apply political statements about American anti-Indian history) while listening to the “build a koja-song” that my mother wrote in 1994
6 – Read one of the books about the cow and the crow.
7 – Build puzzles
8 – Go to the mall
9 – Read “Karlsson on the roof” for the oldest 4-year old (when his sisters were asleep)
10 – Bake an apple cake with them
11 – Dance around with the kids to Purim songs
12 – Showed them photos of Daddy as a baby on the computer (my parents recently got a scanner for slide photos, so now all old photos from the 80’s are surfacing)
This is well aligned with the idea of Purim. Yes, it’s not an official day off (I used my vacation days), because it’s not a holiday appointed by God. It’s a holiday where we celebrate what happened in Persia around 2,300 years ago, described in the book of Esther. The Jews were for the first time persecuted as a minority, and we turned it into the opposite. That’s why Purim is the holiday of opposites. We dress up to other things (I saw black-robe orthodox children dressed up as Israeli soldiers…) we joke and laugh at everything. It’s about laughing at the very serious things. There was a plan to kill us all. And we laughed in danger’s face. The anti-Semitism which started with Haman continues till this day. And we keep laughing in its face, because every empire that tries to exterminate us comes and goes, and the Jewish people stay. This is when we laugh at the anti-Semitism.
How suitable isn’t it then, that so many absurd anti-Semitic things occurred exactly now? Just in time for us to laugh at it. We can start with “Israel apartheid week” which took place during the week leading up to Purim http://apartheidweek.org/
And of course, we can laugh a lot at my old homeland, Sweden. Actually at the very city in which my family lives, Malmö. They hosted the tennis game between Sweden and Israel, but their anti-Semitic politics made them decide to have it without audience, which enabled Israel to win the game. Once again we can laugh in their face.