Since we left home just over seven months ago, I have only been homesick a handful of times. Sure, there are things that I miss. Like the beach. Or certain restaurants. Family and friends, of course. But here are other restaurants. And we are making new friends. And we have a cornfield across the road.
No, we haven’t replaced the things and people from home. Just opened our hearts to new experiences and people.
Tonight is Purim. And tonight, I am keenly missing my home shul. I am missing the place where Purim is a humongous big deal. The place where everyone really gets into the craziness of it all. Where being a Reform shul means that holidays are observed as ordained…even when it’s not convenient.
I struggled with this when I first learned that our new synagogue moved Purim to the Shabbat closest to it. It’s not as though I’d never heard of places doing this. I just never thought that I’d belong to a place that does this.
I thought about boycotting our synagogue’s service this Friday and going to the conservative shul instead. Though I don’t want my kids to judge the practices of others, I struggled with how to explain that Purim is actually tonight and NOT this Friday night. [Davka — they had to stick it on Shabbat. Our calendrical system ensures that, for good reason, it never falls on Shabbat. Though if Purim begins on a Thursday night, then Shushan Purim does fall on Shabbat — but it then becomes Purim Meshulash and there are some alterations made to the observances.] I don’t want them to think that things can be changed simply because they are inconvenient.
But a wise rabbi friend reminded me:
אל תפרוש מן הציבור — Do not separate yourself from the community
In other words: Go hear the #Megillah at your home syn no matter what day they read it. #community
And he’s right.
After asking around, I learned that the local conservative shul has a family Megillah reading at 7:00pm. We could go to that and attend services at our synagogue this Friday. However, it just so happens that timing is everything. Both good and bad. PC is out of town. And Beernut shuts down around 7:00pm. With no one to stay home with him, there was no way that the littles and I could make it to the conservative shul. So the decision was made for us; we will be going Friday night.
My Twitter feed and Facebook stream mock me with the ongoing evidence of Purim. Even with all of the recent Purim prep that’s been occupying us here at Beit Frummie, tonight was just like every other night. Is this what’s it’s like for those who don’t observe?
My heart is aching…