The Tovsky Tribe

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Saturday, April 23, 2011


I was raised conservative Jewish.  With two Jewish parents.  I was Bat Mitzvahed and confirmed through the very synagogue that my children now attend for pre-school.    I was taught Hebrew and the meaning of being Jewish and the traditions and beliefs of each of the very many holidays.  I have cousins, many, who are Orthodox.  And, until recently, my extended family did not include any non-Jews (though we welcome them with wide open arms!)  So I am a bit shamed, or embarrassed, or at least my parents will be, when I say that I know very little about all of these aforementioned things.   I can recite small pieces of prayers that are tattooed on my memory, but can't be sure I am using the exact right words.  I know the blessings over the wine, the challah, the candles.   I celebrate all of the major holidays in a customary fashion of family, food, and chaos.  And, there was never a doubt I would raise my children any other way but Jewish.
So, now that Chase and Ryder are finishing up the Jewish Pre-School days, and Turner is just beginning I rely on their education to learn a few things myself.
Today (3/20) is Purim.   Friday (3/18), at school, was the Purim celebration.  To the secular world, Purim is the Jewish Halloween.  I suppose that is true, to a degree, and I do know there are very religious Jews out there who may not celebrate the Saints holiday.  According to wikipedia, Purim is a holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish People in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman, a story recorded n the Biblical Book of Esther.  I know Purim by the characters, by the hamantashen, by the annual carnivals.   Purim is the fun holiday.
The kids certainly think so.  They love to wear their costumes, sing their songs, make and eat the tasty treats.   For weeks they told me who they wanted to be (Chase - King Achoshpheros; Ryder- Haman; Turner was also the King.)  For weeks we had to practice their line for the show.  Chase could recite everyone's line, including his own, with clarity and projection.   Ryder, although he had the line committed to memory, was not so willing to say it loud enough for me to hear in my own kitchen that I was not sure what would happen at the show.
But, the day came.  There were no arguments to get dressed.  Ryder was happy with the Haman hat I made the night before.  They begged for make-up for beards, and mustaches, and goatees.  Ryder sand the whole time (aside from a few yawns) and Chase managed to not steal everyone else's lines.  Turner got to play carnival games while dressing like a King.  They even posed for pictures.  My 3 princes as 2 Kings and a Villain....and so very proud.

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