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Study and Theory/

Cancellation of the Purim Holiday

Lehavot Habashan, 1964

Nonconformist thoughts on Purim, atonement and candlesticks...

Cancellation of the Purim holiday gave me cause for some reflection.

Why was this holiday not celebrated on our kibbutz this year?

The explanation given was that the wedding celebration which came close to the date of Purim would come instead of the holiday, since we cannot ‘dance at two weddings’.

I received this announcement with equanimity; however, as the holiday drew nearer, I saw the daily papers filled with articles, advertisements and suggestions for Purim dishes and holding of traditional celebrations, and my heart filled with sorrow over our lack of a holiday tradition. Now why, I ask myself, should a [kibbutz] member without preschool age children not get a taste of the holiday, not enjoy a hamantash for Purim, and not have a chance to get a little crazy? Admittedly, parties cannot be arranged consequently one week after the other; however, it seems to me that the holiday can also be celebrated without an elaborate entertainment program.

This, in my opinion, is the role of the moadon (clubhouse).

The above-ground dining hall, with the critical public eye focused on it, cannot host a party without artistic entertainment or shows that presume to be such; however, the below-ground moadon, removed from conformism, can provide a free atmosphere of spontaneous joy over a glass of wine and hamantashen, jokes or songs, humoristic sending of Purim gifts, and a feeling of relief from the stress of preparations.

It seems to me that the moadon should broaden its scope and give some expression to the suppressed longings of many of us from their parents’ home.

What am I referring to? For example, that on Shabbat eve two candles in candlesticks be lit, to give an atmosphere of Shabbat; or, that on Yom Kippur eve, members who wish to can hear a recording of the Kol Nidrei prayer. I think that the activity at our clubhouse should be less routine and assume a more homelike character.

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