This was by far the most indescribable, most enjoyable and my best Purim yet.
The week of Purim celebrations had already started throughout the campus. One of these which was my favorite was a dorm room get together in one of the apartments - this was a time to sing, dance and speak about Purim and its significance in Judaism. This was also accompanied with your chance to make Mishloah Manot (packages of sweets to give to a friend on Purim)
Singing songs of Purim with the view of Yerushalayim out the window. Wow.
The morning before the grand celebrations began I was able to go learn Torah and the Jewish biblical view of Purim. This was all done with a delicious brunch. I was able to learn with a wonderful woman, Tzipora, who works at the Jeff Sidel student centre.
Delicious Purim brunch - eggs, tuna, cream cheese, Israeli salad, fresh orange juice and many more treats.
Night One: PURIM IN TEL AVIV
The first night of Purim went as follows: We went to a party at Jeff Sidel's student centre for some drinks (Purim is a time to be happy) and a pre-party to start the exciting night. We then took a bus from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv arriving at the Jeff Sidel Purim Party later that night. Once the party was over we made our way on a walk through the streets of Tel Aviv - seeing many Rothberg strudents on the way. The greeting would not be a casual 'hello' but would be a song screamed out loud with great smiles on us all.
Mishenichnas Adar meaning entering the Hebrew month of Adar.
My outfit was a Gypsy while my roommate Kira's was a fairy.
My friend Jesse in his costume which was unknown to him as well as all of us. But guesses were Peter Pan, a fairy or just a world of color.
After the walk around Tel Aviv we then found ourselves at a rooftop party on Shenken Street (one of Tel Aviv's most well known streets) This party played music for all ages, had dress up costumes from different eras and had people from various parts of the world. This was a fantastic opportunity for us all to get to know how local Israeli's celebrate Purim and for us to have a chance to join in was something special.
Tel Aviv rooftop party- what a view!
Night Two: Start to a SHUSHAN PURIM IN JERUSALEM
After Shabbat came out and the new week began, Saturday night began with one thousand smiles and one million happy souls in Yerushalayim. This was a start to a Purim Sameach!
This night was all about discovering all the local parties and being able to feel the full atmosphere of Purim in the holy city. We first went to a Purim rave - this was a dancing party filled with lights, costumes, masks and incredible music.
Then on to Jerusalem's most well known streets - Ben Yehuda and Yaffo Street.
Just some random dancing and singing in the middle of the street between strangers - all united by a festival, by a religion and by such an amazing country.
I have never seen the streets so happening - with loud music and so many people. This photograph was taken at around 3am, the people had still not dispersed.
Day Three: Purim in the OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM and a time to GIVE back.
Even though the past two days were loads of fun - the time when I felt that I was truly in this holy and spiritual city was the third day and the actual day of Purim in Jerusalem. This day was sent with a wonderful spiritual guide Sarah and my dear friend Liora. We awoke early to start packaging Mishloach Manot to give out to the less fortunate, elderly and the many tourists throughout Machaneh Yehuda (the Jerusalem shuk or market).
The many sweet packages that we made to hand out to those lovely people.
Our day compiled of making those who were not able to receive Mishloach Manot happy by giving them some, introducing many tourists to the ideas behind Purim and why in actual fact we are dressed up as well as giving the elderly sweets to brighten up their day. Once our bags were empty we then went on a walk through to Rechaviya - a neighbourhood in Jerusalem- for a Suedos (a meal at the end of Purim). We were once again able to go to a strangers house, have a meal in their dining room and then join in on their celebration for the Chag (festival). When the meal was over Liora and I took a walk through the street party on Bezalel street. This was an artsy affair filled with many creative costumes which filled the air with alternative music and memories to last a lifetime.
When the sun had set and the centre of down quietened down, the Old City came alive. With a part at Jeff Sidel's house in the Old City, with one of the most meaningful and emotional prayer sessions for myself at the hotel and with the voices of those who just was to sing and rejoice. The joy of the Jewish survival through the ages.
With the end to a fourteen hour day - my heart was fulfilled and my soul was completely warm. Thank you Jerusalem and Israel for the most special, chilling and heart warming Puirm of my entire life.
My three dress up costumes. One: Gypsy Two: Disco and Three: 1960's Twiggy
Purim 2014 - spiritual, fun and emotional all at once.