I would have to say that Purim this year was a bit bitter-sweet, and a lot happened.
It started at work. I decided to dress up as the Milky Way. I found a really pretty silver tutu like skirt (I would wear it for real), a silver shirt, made stars from tin foil (need to find something better for next time), had a silver head band, and then lots of glitter all over my face. The residents loved it (well most of them…one didn’t like that I had silver lips). There is something very fun about walking in the streets fully dressed up, as if there is nothing strange about it.
This is something I will actually miss. On my way to shul, it made me think about Yom Kippur. There was the same feeling in the air. The sun goes down; everyone is rushing to get to shul on time, trying to find parking… just this time everyone is in costume instead of in white (which might also be a costume). But there is something there. I don’t know if the same feeling happens in other places in Israel, but I feel like it will be different next year when I am in the US.
For the past 5 years, I have helped a friend of mine organize a Megilla reading. It started out small, at his apartment. When we out grew his apartment, we moved to mine. And for the past three years, we had gotten so big that we moved to a shul that gave us space. In addition to running Megilla reading, we used to run a minyan that met monthly on Shabbat mornings, monthly for Kabbalat Shabbat at the nursing home, and hakafot for Simchat Torah. So, this year right before we started davening, the third member of our organizing group told me he needed to make an announcement, so I said go for it. It turned out to be a thank you and goodbye message for everything that I have done over the past years…
The reading went really well. And it was nice to be with all of my friends. It is at times like this, that I think to myself, “wow I can actually be a rabbi”. Here I am in a shul, not just of my peers (members of the shul are also invited and we get over 100 people), giving announcements, it being my job to give the nod to continue davening, it not being strange or inappropriate for me to walk over to those reading to tell them to be louder. So really I need to say thank you to the community for allowing me to practice this role as I am studying.
Following Megilla reading, I went to a friend’s party. It is just starting to get around that I am leaving, and so the questions that I get are “when are you off”, and the date is not that far off. I am no longer saying “sometime in May”, but rather “May 16” which is in 6 weeks from now…
My friend R and I, have a tradition of going out together after Megilla reading- this year we went to the shuk. It was only just starting as we got there, and we got there at 10pm! She eventually left, but I stayed and danced a bit more with my friend N, taking in the costumes, music and intoxication of the area. We eventually met up with a friend of hers, who was playing the accordion. We were tired (as it was almost 1:30), and decided to walk home, and for about half the journey we were accompanied by an accordionist. Some of the time we were just talking, and other times just dancing along- the beauty of Purim where anything goes. J Eventually we got to a bar, and had some beer as the last customers of the night.
Israel changed their clocks that night (oh so silly), so by the time I got home it was 3am, and I had to be up at 8 to put together the mishloach manot, get dressed, and make it in time to Megilla reading.
As per usual I went to the women’s Megilla reading at my friend’s house. After hearing the Megilla, I had some whiskey and hung out, till I left to my former chevruta’s house. From there I went to party #1 my friend Y’s parent’s house. The food was great, and it was so nice to be able to see my friend who is so often not in the country. And then I went to party #2, at shuk boy’s house.
Things have been funny with him lately, as he is not very happy that I am leaving. I got to his house around dessert time, so people were quite drunk. And as I entered, there was lots of cheering- all put to a stop by him, to make a serious speech about our friendship- how we met, some of our traditions, how he is going to miss me….
Another funny thing about him is that he doesn’t touch me. Why, I’m not really sure, but it is just not something that he does (he does touch other women). Well, the next thing I knew, his face was on my (actually happened twice), taking off my glitter and it going on to his face (there really was a lot, I was still covered in it). I was so taken aback, that I didn’t really know what to say.
Another first for this meal was that I actually got drunk. I don’t really drink so much, and I really don’t get drunk…but it happened this time, which kinda made things funny for me. At one point, it turned out that no one went to Megilla reading in the morning, so he started reading. I was falling asleep (that is what happens when I drink), and so I just went to the couch and took a little nap.
After that most people left. And again he was all touchy and sentimental. When I got up to go to the bathroom, he thought I was leaving. I took off his nail polish for him. And then it was actually time to go home, and that is when he said how much he is going to miss me, and pulled me back to him multiple times. I started to tear a bit, because I too am going to miss him…
I need to figure out what/how to say something to shuk boy, because I really don’t know what I will do without him (he wanted to make sure I was ok after leaving, and I told him that I am going to miss him, and I don’t know what to do without him, and he told me he agreed). But is it smart to say something to someone after 6 years, when I only have 6 weeks left? He told me no 5 years ago; do I try and put myself out there? And if I do say something, what do I say? Do I want to just hook-up for a few week? Do I want a dating relationship? Do I just want him to know that I care about him and that I will miss him? How do I bring this up? Any suggestions?!
So it was a bitter-sweet Purim. All in all I had a lot of fun. It is the slow-hard road now of starting to say goodbye.