Friday, March 18, 2005

Last Year's Purim Musing #36

Musings #36
February 13, 2004

If You Love Purim, Move to Shiloh!!!

This should be the marketing slogan to attract new families to Shiloh. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that Shiloh’s a joke or anything like that, G-d forbid. It’s just that for us, Purim’s double. That is, we celebrate two days of Purim, both regular Purim and Shushan Purim for the walled cities at the time it all happened.

Think about it:
· Two festive meals
· Two days dressed in costumes
· Two days shlepping around mishloach manot
· And four readings, or listenings, of the Megilat Esther!!

As in everything, there are advantages and disadvantages. The advantages: well, great for those who like to cook, bake, eat and don’t gain weight. The kids love it. An extra day of vacation and an extra night to party. We also really get to know the Megilat Esther. So well, that one year when my daughter was living in Jerusalem, she and her friends overslept, missing all the readings, so she told her friends to borrow a scroll, and then she read it to them.

I’m sure that some of you are muttering: “Why? Isn’t one enough?” Good question. There is no doubt that Shiloh existed as a walled city at the time of Mordechai, Achashverosh, Haman and Esther, and there probably were Jews here. But the big problem is the thousands of years in between when Shiloh was, let’s say, Judenrein, empty of Jews. On the first day, regular Purim, we read the Megilla with the required blessings, and we add the “Al Hanissim—For the Miracles” prayer in the Grace after Meals and other prayers. The second day, Shushan Purim, we celebrate without the special prayers. In a sense it’s a celebration of our return to our Biblical Home.

Shiloh is not just a piece of real estate, a place with a great view and clean air. We are in the Shiloh of the Bible. We are the Shiloh of Eli the Priest and Shmuel (Samuel) the Prophet. It was here in Shiloh that the Twelve Tribes became a Nation with a King. By celebrating Shushan Purim we are affirming our G-d-given right and obligation to be here. We are home.

Purim Sameach. May you all have a joyful Purim, and may all of the Hamans of the world be destroyed.

Batya Medad
, Shiloh

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