How is this Purim different from every other Purim? Covid-19. And Kirkland, WA (of all places) is the epicenter? Oy vey!
Our only option this year is to celebrate Purim from the comfort of our own homes. But that does not mean that we need to mitigate our joy. No way. No how. They are to observe these as days of feasting and gladness, and for sending delicacies to one another, and giving gifts to the poor. (Esther 9:22)
Let’s do this!
Here are 5 ways to celebrate at home.
1. Give tzedakah. This Purim lots of hard working families in our area are reasonably concerned because of the economic fall out of this virus spread. Hourly workers and service workers are most vulnerable right now. Giving tzedakah is a mitzvah of Purim. How about an online fundraiser via social media? Get your nextwork to give. Get your friends and family to give to your local charity of choice that supports working people. We can ease the burden of our neighbors through our generosity and compassion. I am going to raise money today for Jewish Family Service. You might choose a local food bank or shelter or even... or give a cash gift to a friend or family member who might be struggling within the context of this crisis.
2. Feast. Feasting is a Purim focal point. Invite a few friends or neighbors over for a meal. Any meal can can be a feast. Order a pizza but put out your best dishes and your fanciest table cloth. Or make an amazing home cooked meal that takes hours upon hours to prepare and then serve it is as an indoor picnic on the floor of your living room. Wear a costume to your meal. At the very least a silly hat. 😜 🙃
3. Tell the story. Hear the story. KNOW the story. Esther. She was an orphan. And her Uncle Mordecai entered her into a beauty contest to win the place of head wife, highest wife, number #1 wife to the King of alllllllll the land. She won! And she hid her true identity as a Jew so she could integrate into the King’s household. But. But. But there was an anti-Semite in the King’s house. Horrendous Haman. And the now Queen, Esther the bold and beautiful, needed to dig deep to find the courage to take on the snake 🐍 Haman. She went to the King, asked for what she needed and long story short-Haman was punished by the exact means with which he sought to hurt the Jews: hanging. He and his sons. And then the Jews partied. And we now party in honor of their victory and Esther’s personal victory as a woman who used her position to save her people. Check our the Esther Veggie Tales for a family experience: https://youtu.be/eIIn2FGDTlA
Check out the gauzy “One Night with the King“ for a more adult experience. https://youtu.be/wzrf0TmwlkA
4. Make some noise. Drown out your sorrow with a home-based dance party. It is your damn house. This week might be the time to get to know Ticktock. If you DO have lots of time, consdier making a fun Purim video. There are tons dance challanges. Lots of opportunties to bump butts and stomp your feet. Something like this: https://vm.tiktok.com/gcu9YJ/
Or at BARE minimum: a little Hava Nagillah in the living room. https://youtu.be/whgeiYty_w0
5. Nosh Some Hamentashin
QFC at U Village and on Mercer Island sell them. You can also make some. Chilling the dough or forming them and then letting them freeze a bit before baking is an excellent hack to prevent a jam explosion. My hack? Use a premade pie crust as the dough and fill with whatever jam you have a home. You can also just order a pizza and fold it into a hamentashin shape.
I do not know what the future will bring but I do have faith that our love, compassion, joy and generosity is what makes our world go round and it is stronger than we know. We are here. Yet again. To tell our story of survival. We will outlive this virus and the chaos we find ourselves in this Purim and we will tell the story of Purim 2020/5780 to generations to come.
Final note: Evil men always fall. And they fall hard. Never forget that.
Create a Purim celebration from your home that is worthy of a story to tell the next generation.