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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

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

His tweet?

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…

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Wednesday, 7 March 2012 10:03 pm

    My heart aches for you, and I am homesick with you, too. I hope that you and your family will enjoy the belated celebration at shul, and meanwhile feast on hamantashen. Hugs from another neighborhood in galut.

  2. Wednesday, 7 March 2012 10:06 pm

    This hits close to home right now. With Tech Support’s bar mitzvah in T -3 months, I know some of my more observant family members cannot attend. And while I understand, he separation hurts.

    I was brought up Orthodox and now am Reform. I still haven’t found the perfect fit in terms of shuls. And it’s been 12 years.

    Purim Sameach.

  3. The Nudnik permalink
    Wednesday, 7 March 2012 10:14 pm

    It’s a little late to be suggesting this, but since one does not need a minyan to read the Megillah, why not (next time this happens) just read the Megillah yourself for the crew?

    Speaking of moving Purim, my wife told me once about the shul that moved Purim because of a blizzard.

  4. Debbie permalink
    Wednesday, 7 March 2012 10:26 pm

    Love the pictures. I miss Beernut. Wishing you all well!

  5. ZaydeGiraffe permalink
    Thursday, 8 March 2012 1:40 am

    My heart aches for you, too. Our congregation proves that a Reform shul need not move holidays to a “convenient” day. We have about 320 family units who belong. Tonight the sanctuary and social hall were filled all the way to the back with adults–a great many in costume–and with kids. They stayed for the the service, megillah reading, purimspiel and oneg until 10:00 PM. We must have had at least 350 in attendance.

  6. Amitzah permalink
    Thursday, 8 March 2012 1:55 am

    You were missed too. 😦

    You have taught them the meaning of each holiday, how we observe and why, and the importance of community. Your kids are smart. They’ll understand why they are not observing tonight (yesterday for you).

  7. Thursday, 8 March 2012 2:04 am

    You all were missed tonight. The place was packed-all the way to the back. What a fun purimspiel!
    There was laughter, cheers and some tears from the crowd and the spielers, especially the king.

  8. Thursday, 8 March 2012 10:00 am

    xoxo. Great costumes…especially Beernut the Banana!

  9. Thursday, 8 March 2012 6:15 pm

    I have been homesick for 8.5 years. We moved from Israel. The reform movement was far different. Yet there are things that I like. In the most part feeling welcome was not one of the strong points. Some of it may come from us.
    We do not belong currently though I do teach a wonderful group of 6th graders on Sunday.
    Why not go to the Conservative? We have visited them all and it has been a great experience. The similiarities are greater than the differences. In Israel I would not dream of walking into a Orthodox even where women and men sit together and a Conservative was too far away. I love going to different types of synagogues here, it reminds me that we are AM ACHAD.

  10. Crys permalink
    Thursday, 8 March 2012 6:27 pm

    We went last night and the problem I have is that they don’t read the Megillah. I have great memories of dressing up, hearing your dad read the Megillah and using my groger. Here they just do a schpiel. Hardly any kids attend. I wish it was different. We went last year too and it was the same way.

  11. Thursday, 8 March 2012 6:34 pm

    I know it’s not the same as being there for the whole Megillah — but there will be a video of spiel, and we’ll make sure you get a copy.

  12. Friday, 9 March 2012 11:14 am

    LOVE the pictures. That is a hard call you had to make. I guess I don’t really understand why moving Purim to Shabbat made it more convenient for the members of that shul? Enlighten me!

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