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The Wonderful Purim Festival
// 08.03.2010

“Purim Sameah!” means “Merry Purim!”. By this words there greeted one another everyone who visiting the synagogue to listen to reading the scroll by Ester (Megilat Ester) at the end of Shabbat of February, 27. Maybe for first time Purim fell on the very time.
At the fixed time of the Shabbat night in the prayer hall of the synagogue there assembled a great number people. Everyone impatiently was waiting for reciting the scroll. And here was the long-expected moment, and the Rabbi of Menachem Rabinovitz started reciting…

I would like to note that reciting the scroll by Ester is one of four commandments of the holiday of Purim side by side with giving gifts for friends, poor people and undoubtedly holiday meal.
For reciting by pronouncing the name of evil Haman
(it is the custom) the whole hall was filling by stamping and whistling. At this time all present persons were one and indivisible; there were not anyone who was aside from this common joy overfilling everybody.

After the reciting in the same place there conducted not less memorable thanks to its uniqueness the procedure of separation of Shabbat (Saturday) from workdays (Havdalah). Then all persons interested might taste in the banquet hall of the synagogue Jewish dishes, talk and barely pleasant pass the night to live music.

On Sunday in the building of the synagogue there was a family festival. Probably many persons know that according to the tradition in Purim they arrange masquerades and amuse themselves. Our community could not be aside from this fine tradition.

By the beginning of the festival by now near the entrance the boys and girls were waited by two jolly clowns who were giving special cards out according to which all kids might get in the end a tasty gift. In the hall itself leaders organized merry contests. Boys and girls were taking part in them and getting the special currency of “puriks”, and the kids might buy something for themselves or for their friends. But the surprises of the festival did not finished by that.

The long-expected moment was, everyone having assembled in the praying hall for the second time more from the start of the holiday were waiting for reciting the Megila. The content of the scroll to be more understandable simultaneously with the reciting itself a professional actor by mimicry and gestures was explaining the spectators the essence of the scroll. After that for drama-lovers and also for all spectators honored artists of the theater of “Komediya” (“Comedy”) acted a fine performance according to the subject of the Purim story.

It is difficult to believe but also by that the merry holiday program was not over. The festival was in full swing…

“What is about the masquerade, where is it?”, will ask you. And this question will be natural. The most interesting was postponed. All the spectators who had worn fancy-dresses were called to come to the stage. There were very many participants: Peppy Long Stocking, the field-marshal of Kutuzov appearing in a person, princesses, teeth fairies, Gypsies, inhabitants of the wonderful country of Avatar, a couple of Spaniards visiting our city and of course a lot of other characters. They had time to present their unique cloths and not to forget to surprise and delight the incorruptible judges of this contest. It is impossible not to mention that in the end of the presentation it turned out that in the end they all the same had been won by charm of the small old woman-box!

In the finish of the program all kids who had visited the festival got sweet gifts and adults went to the banquet hall to continue their pleasant conversation in the restaurant of ‘Shalom”.
This Purim helped me to take a view of a lot of things differently. Remembering the moment when everyone with a sinking heart was listening to reciting the scroll by Ester and the whole hall was exploding by noise of rattles, rumble, whistling and tread I began to understand what is the power of our people as a whole and the power of our community in particular: This power is caused by unity and the holyday of Purim itself by its miraculous story gives us this confirmation.

Only we are together we can overcome all the most malicious Hamans!
Zhanna Maslova

"Translated by Mark Gart". e-mail: gartmark@rambler.ru

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