Friday, February 26, 2010

Possibly our worst Purim ever :(

First, our kind-hearted and concerned Shabbos goy informed us, last Saturday before Mincha (Afternoon Service), that some yo-yo in the synagogue office had rented out our sanctuary on Purim at 8 PM. Sure, we need the money, but now we'll have only an hour and a half to davven Maariv/Arvit (pray the Evening Service) and chant Megillat Ester/The Scroll ("Book") of Esther. So, instead of having a nice leisurely Megillah reading, with plenty of time to make a commotion at every mention of the villain Haman's name, we'll be speeding through the reading as if it were a weekday morning and the cantor (our Megillah reader) had to get to his day job.

Then, at about 6 PM last night, I got a Voice Message from my oldest girlfriend saying that she and her husband wouldn't be able to attend our Seudat Purim because her ex-husband's mother had died, and, since her daughter wanted to spend Purim with her father, Mom would be needed to drive her there.

Next, I was called by a sister congregant and informed that our synagogue's Purim party had been postponed to Monday afternoon due to the snowstorm. You'll notice that I called it a Purim party, not a Seudat Purim. That's because our board, in its infinite wisdom (quoth she sarcastically), had voted that all Chanukah and Purim parties are to take place on Shabbat/Sabbath afternoon after the Shabbat morning services. The reasons are that (a) we can't afford to hire a singer anymore anyway, (b) it's more convenient for the congregants, since they're already in synagogue, and (c) we won't have to ask our usual Sunday-afternoon renters to reschedule. (So much of our synagogue schedule is built around avoiding conflicts with our renters that I can't help wondering who really owns our building.) The result of the postponement to Monday afternoon is that none of us working stiffs will be able to attend this so-called Purim luncheon, which is being held after Purim. Yes, Monday is Shushan Purim, but that's pretty irrelevant outside of Eretz Yisrael/the Land of Israel.

Saving the "best" for last (minute), our other Seudat Purim guests called at about 10:30 PM last night to let us know that they would also be unable to attend, due to poor health.

Who were we going to call at 10:30 at night, less than four days before Purim and less than 24 hours before no-phone-calls-allowed Shabbat, to invite to a Seudah?

So this is how our Purim weekend looks:
  • Probably fewer than 20 people will show up on Shabbat morning in this snowy weather.
  • Probably fewer than that will show up for the Megillah reading--I wouldn't be surprised if we don't even get a minyan, despite the fact that we count women therein.
  • Adding insult to injury, the Megillah reading will be a speedy-Gonzalez special.
  • The shul's Purim party will take place the day after Purim.
  • And despite my careful planning, we'll still end up with no one with whom to share a Seudat Purim. :(


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could just go to an Orthodox shul and be guaranteed a minyan, a huge crowd, a non-rushed Megillah reading, and a great time.

Fri Feb 26, 12:14:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Not in *this* neighborhood--even the Orthodox synagogues can't get a minyan on a weekday morning. And the congregants in those shuls are just as old as ours, so *they* won't be rushing out to shul in the snow, either.

Also, I get to read a chapter (the good one, chapter 7, in which Esther accuses Haman of attempted genocide and King Achashverosh has Haman hanged). I couldn't do that in most Orthodox synagogues.

Fri Feb 26, 01:06:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the O shuls where I live have special readings where women read for other women.

Fri Feb 26, 01:40:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

That would work for me, provided they wouldn't object to splitting up the reading--I'm not capable of reading the entire book (or, literally speaking, the gantzah megillah. :) ). I hear tell that some (all?) are of the opinion that the entire Megillat Esther must be read by one person.

Fri Feb 26, 02:54:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

If y'all want to come to my house, I'm attending a seudat purim that starts at 3PM that I think you'd like a lot. Mixed seating, I promise. I can pick you up at the train station - call me if you are interested.

Sat Feb 27, 08:47:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

Also the local WTG has a women only megillah reading , but that is around 9AM tomorrow morning.

Sat Feb 27, 08:48:00 PM 2010  

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