A White Purim

Purim is a time to rejoice and be merry. The weather seems to think so, too, and for the first time gave us a “White Purim.” Snow in March is almost unheard of

| Topics: Purim
Snow on the Golan Heights. Photo: Michael Giladi/Flash90

Schools and kindergartens across Israel are today celebrating Purim, which officially begins tomorrow evening. Apart from its actual meaning, the Purim festival is also known for the fact that it rains very often on this day. When someone mentions Purim, one automatically thinks of rain. Purim and rain just go together. I remember several times when the traditional Purim procession, known as the Adloyada, was canceled or postponed because of rain.

Here in Modiin, the Purim procession has been postponed to next Friday because the weather is really crazy here. Purim usually occurs in February. Therefore, rain on Purim is actually not uncommon. But this time, because of the Jewish leap year (there are two months of Adar, Adar 1 and Adar 2), the festival falls in the month of March. And in mid-March we should already be experiencing spring with its pleasant temperatures. But no, Purim is Purim and it has to rain on Purim! And because the weather really wants to celebrate Purim, this time it has put on a winter costume and made sure that for the first time in Israel’s history there will be snow on Purim. The first snowflakes fell in Jerusalem early in the morning.

My son sent me some videos from his army base in Judea and Samaria this morning to show that snow had fallen there, too. In fact, on the mountaintops of the biblical heartland, the snowfall was even heavier than in nearby Jerusalem.

It’s a nice distraction. We don’t have much to do on Purim any longer, not with our children all grown up. In conversations with my dear colleagues who still have small children, I’m reminded of the times when Purim was very exhausting for us, but of course it also brought us a lot of joy. But yes, it was exhausting, because for a whole week before the actual festival, the children had to appear at school in different costumes every day, sometimes in funny hats, sometimes with crazy haircuts, sometimes as football fans from the local club, and so on . And then there was the elaborate costume for the official Purim celebration at school. Yes, it was exhausting, but today I have fond memories of those times.

Snow on Purim – who would’ve thought?

Unfortunately, the otherwise merry festival is being overshadowed by the terrible events in Ukraine. It’s hard to be really happy. Can we be happy and merry while elsewhere people are suffering? At the same time, life must go on, otherwise the evil forces would get what they want. Even in these difficult times we will celebrate Purim as it should be, because that is what keeps us together. The Jewish people have never stopped celebrating their festivals. And so I wish you a happy Purim with the hope that the suffering of the people in Ukraine will soon come to an end.

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