Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Purim Stands for Precipitation

What’s the meteorological connection with Purim? Coming from Israel, I can tell you that the rule of thumb is it always rains on Purim – it’s the last winter downpour. Now that I’m in Providence for the year, and we’ve just experienced a classic, major snowstorm, I’m beginning to wonder if it will snow on Purim. If it does, ironically I just stumbled on a Bukharan Purim custom that will fit the bill. Since Purim always coincided with the snowy season, Jewish Bukharan children built a snowHaman next to the synagogue. His head was large with charcoal eyes, a carrot nose and a beetroot mouth (sound familiar?). His hat was made out of a broken pot. Meanwhile, his physique was equally odd -- funny-shaped torso with long thick elephant-like legs. This snowHaman was not meant to melt naturally. After the meal, the whole community got together and surrounded their snow creation with wood, rags and paper – all of which were used to light a large fire. With the fire lit, they sang Purim songs while watching snowHaman melt in the heat. So if Mother Nature decides she wants to give us one last blast of freezing snow this Purim, you might consider this fun way of keeping warm outdoors.
For your classroom: Explain the origins of Bukharan Jews

True, I did say one custom per holiday, but I just couldn’t resist sharing this with you.

I’ll be back after Purim with an unusual Passover custom. In the meantime, don’t forget to take advantage of this exclusive offer for Tami Lehman-Wilzig Kids Books readers. Go to Kar-Ben Publishing’s online bookstore and get 10% off your next order. Use coupon code TAMI when checking out. Offer expires August 10, 2009. One use per customer. Offer not valid with any other discounts.

Purim Same'akh!

No comments:

Post a Comment