- Posted March 13, 2014 by
When Holidays and Wars Clash
It’s Purim, the holiday of happiness, rejoicing and fun. Throughout this entire period in Israel – the Hebrew month of Adar – people build up to the high point when, starting yesterday, and continuing until next Monday, we celebrate the holiday of Purim – when the Jews were saved from destruction by a Persian ruler (today’s Iran).
According to the site Judaism 101, “The book of Esther is unusual in that it is the only book of the Bible that does not contain the name of God. .... Thus, one important message that can be gained from the story is that God often works in ways that are not apparent, in ways that appear to be chance, coincidence or ordinary good luck. “
Among Purim-related activities, is the act of dressing up. At the beginning of the week I was in Tel Aviv for work – people were already walking around the building with funny hats here and there. When I went to the supermarket, one of the cashiers had artistic decorations drawn on her face. Children go to school in costumes. In fact yesterday morning the atmosphere was 180 degrees reversed: the biggest threat we felt was the heavy rain that was threatening to disperses our school carnival.
Fast forward to this morning. As the newscasters say: They bombed us, we bombed them, after that the night was “relatively quiet”. Instead of enjoying the Purim spirit, we are being forced to deal with more primal survival instincts, thanks to the Hamas and other Iranian-back terror groups.
So what really happened last night after the retaliations retaliating for retaliations? Well, the last rocket fell around 1 a.m. Then of course, there was the thunder, which- when you are shell-shocked from fresh incoming fire- has the same effect on one’s sleep. The IDF helicopters hovering above my house and shooting into the Strip didn't enhance my ability to sleep, either. I tossed and turned most of what was left of the night, haunted by nightmares and frequent awakenings. (I usually sleep like a baby until around 5:30 a.m., being a habitual early riser.)
The kiddies are getting up, and ready to go to school (which is commencing as usual). School-bus time is an especially sensitive time – those who would do us harm know the hours when we take our children to the school busses. Helicopters hover above, military escorts from the different communities wait with the children at the bus stops and accompany the busses to school, all trying to give the illusion of protection. Of course none of those “precautions” could stop an incoming rocket. And it is far from an atmosphere of normalcy.
Would YOU let your child go to school on a day like this? What would you tell your child? How would you explain the hours in the safe-rooms last night, and convince them that this morning it’s ok to go on with their routines?
Hoping the “good luck” message from the story of Purim continues to accompany us today.
And I just heard another explosion. And another. Not an auspicious start to a new day.