Monday, March 11, 2013

Purim Parties!

The weekend before Emmylou was born we observed Purim, as described in the book of Esther. Every year the Jewish people celebrate the day when G-d turned into good what the enemy meant for bad. At our Hebrew-speaking kehilah (congregation) everyone dressed up in costume, commemorating how Queen Esther hid her identity from King Ahasuerus. The traditional saying at Jewish festivals is "They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat." 

We worshiped with lively music and dancing. It was powerful to sing "Am Yisrael Chai" (The People of Israel Live) with Jewish believers in Israel!
 The kids performed a puppet show/musical and the grown-ups read from the megilah (scroll).

As we walked to service at King of Kings Sunday night we saw these guys dressed up for the holiday. Little did we know the party hadn't even started.

At service the kids performed in front of the whole congregation, singing "I am not forgotten". They sang and did the motions and looked really cute in their costumes. Hearing them sing, "I am not forgotten, G-d knows my name" was a good reminder that even when things are hard He is always near, and never forgets us.
After service we went to dinner with some friends and then headed back toward the train. Outside of a little cafe there were a few people reading the Esther megilat, and leading them was this man, Daniel Boone hat on his head, Hebrew scroll in his hand.
As we approached Zion Square we heard fireworks exploding and loud music blasting. There were people everywhere, many of them in costume. They certainly know how to celebrate their victories!

We feel so blessed to be in Jerusalem to see the people G-d has saved time and time again, regardless of their faithfulness. He is the One that keeps up His end of the bargain, no matter what, and we should all rejoice that He is a covenant-keeping Creator. Let's all celebrate His faithfulness and power, knowing that what the enemy meant for bad, G-d turns into good! Chag Sameach! Joyous Festival!

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