Another Purim has come and gone, and it was lovely!
We enjoyed our Purim seuda with our family and guests. If you’re wondering why there seem to be no pictures of some family members, it’s because the pictures of them were together with guests and I’m not including pictures of our guests.
This beautifully arranged fruit platter was a surprise delivery prepared by our soon to be daughter-in-love! (Do you notice two of our younger boys ogling it below? :)) It was so thoughtful and unexpected. We and our guests completely enjoyed it and almost completely finished it by the time our Purim meal ended!
After the excitement of Purim day, that evening we eased into a different focus by putting out a box next to our front door for people to donate their excess treats. We were one of a number of drop off locations in the RBS area. These would be packaged into mishloach manot and distributed to disadvantaged children in Jerusalem the next day. (In Jerusalem, Purim is celebrated a day later than everywhere else, so they received these packages on Purim day.)
The next morning I went with three of the kids to bring the donations that came to us to the central packaging area. We stayed for 3.5 hours to help package the items; the kids helped sort and package the treats for the kids. 1600 packages were prepared for children from snacks that were donated post-Purim in RBS. I was involved in organizing packages for needy families; over a hundred packages went out for families in an economically depressed area. We all felt we had contributed in a valuable way to others and enjoyed it at the same time, and look forward to being involved next year!
It was really nice for me to do this with our children. Purim can so easily become about getting instead of giving (particularly for kids excited about the treats they get from friends), and I was happy to have the opportunity to shift the focus onto doing for others.
Though Purim is over, I’m still working my way through our 300+ page pre-Purim readaloud! The book is called, Let My Nation Live by Yosef Deutsch, and it’s just the kind of books I love to read with the kids. It’s a non-fiction version of the Purim story that integrates so many commentaries, but has been written as a story and the kids have soaked in so much knowledge. It’s well-written, well researched and really fascinating – the older kids ended up listening in when they were home because it was so interesting.
There is another book by the same author called Let My Nation Go, about the Pesach story, written in the same style. I borrowed a copy of the Little Medrash Says Pesach Hagada but I’m hoping I can get a copy of Let My Nation Go to read with them instead. Then that will be our primary reading in the coming month leading up to Pesach.
Note: this is written for adults but our younger boys (7,9,10) have good vocabularies as well as good auditory attentions spans so they easily followed this. I did sometimes need to explain the meaning of a word. I’d say to give it a try if you’re hesitant and see how your kids respond.