Minnesota Mamaleh: What We Can Learn From Purim

Why yes. Yes, that is my girl with pink hair. Eating a doughnut. Off of a string. Seriously: What's not to love about Purim?

Yippy! It’s March! In Minnesota Spring is not quite in the air yet. But, still: It’s March! I have the bonafide promise that coming soon, just around the corner in fact, are green grass, sun kissed faces, drippy popsicles and, of course: PURIM!
What’s not to love about Purim? The costumes, the carnivals, the parades, the hamentashen, the mishloach manot, the groggers, the story.
Speaking of the story, let’s start there, shall we?
The King of Persia, Achashverosh, was having an all out PARTY to celebrate his reign. As part of the fun he wanted his wife Vashti to parade in front of all. When she said NO, he ousted her. Obviously. And held a beauty pageant to find a new wife. Again: Obviously.
The smart Mordechai brought his niece Esther into the wannabe wife running hoping that she’d win the weird little beauty pageant (Which she did.), hide her Judaism to get in good with the King (Which she also did.) and save all Jews from Haman‘s, the King’s Advisor’s, evil plot to exterminate all of the Jews (Which once again, she did.).
At the end of the day, the Jews are saved (Good.), Esther and Achashverosh stay married (Good.) and Haman is killed (Is it wrong to say good here?)
And that’s the story of Purim. Not a bad little tale, right? It absolutely begs retelling and yearly, we Jews do exactly that. We retell, read or act it all out  overandoverandover again to our heart’s content.
Last year, our family decided to put on a ‘lil Purim family play and here’s the recap. You’re so welcome!

A Breen Purim Story

The cast, created by the kids, make of it what you will.

Kayli as Queen Esther. Given.

Chloe as Haman. In a moose hat. And ballet flats. Obviously.

Me as Vashti. Oy.

And Jason, as Achashverosh. You're so very welcome for sharing this, Babe.

Just for fun, here's how the kids had Vashti and Achashverosh having it out. Nice, right?

Clearly, my point is made here. Purim is all sorts of FUN.

In fact, a direct quote from My Jewish Learning is: It is a day when norms are subverted and reversed to commemorate the reversal of fortune recorded in the Book of Esther.
Not yet convinced? How about this piece of wisdom from Judaism for Dummies: Take the Christian Christmas pageant, add a down-home Halloween and a couple bottles of wine, and you start to get a good idea of the Purim festival.
Okay then, now that we’re all on the same page and are so getting into the Purim spirit, it’s time to explore an important question. What messages are we sending our children with the Purim story and celebrations? Here’s my take on it:
10. They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat. (Low hanging fruit, I know. I grabbed it. Deal.)
9. Costumes are totally where it’s at.
8. If your spouse doesn’t listen to you, it’s totally time for a new one.
7. Speaking of spouses, when choosing one: It’s all in the looks, baby!
6. Lying: It has its place.
5. That whole keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Not so much.
4. When celebrating: Drink, friends. Drink.
3. When you’re sad: Eat cookies. When you’re happy: Eat cookies. When all else fails: Eat cookies.

Just look at how little my baby is here! Yes, he is having hamentashen for breakfast. But focus people: Look at how cute he is!

2. When someone is really, really evil: Name calling and public humiliation and even death are not bad solutions. Not bad at all.
And the #1 lesson, message and absolute GEM that we can learn from the Purim story? The lesson of all lessons:
Behind every great movement, decision and saving grace that a man makes there’s a totally and completely kick ass woman.
And that my friends, is a holiday that I can stand behind. Completely.
So with that, I wish you the happiest of coming-soon Purims. Prepare those costumes, bake those hamentashen and thoughtfully plan out those mishloach manot. Because Purim? Is a keeper.

Galit Breen is an Israeli freezing her tuchus in Minnesota. On any given day she can be found juggling her husband, three children, and new puggle. Galit has a degree in Human Development, a Masters in Education and ten-plus years experience as a classroom teacher. Galit is now a stay-at-home mom, blogger and freelance writer working on her first book. She has a serious affinity for challah. And hummus. And challah with hummus. Galit blogs regularly at These Little Waves and writes the monthly Minnesota Mamaleh column right here at TCJ. Contact Galit at [email protected]