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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The day before the day before the day

[scroll down for photos]

Today is an auspicious day for many Israeli school children (and their parents).  It is the day before the day before the festive Jewish holiday of Purim


If you aren't 'in the know' this pre-preamble to our annual costume holiday (think Halloween, but with kids and parents giving away treats instead of asking for them), may sound a bit strange, but bear with me while I explain.

Purim starts this Thursday evening and continues through Friday evening (except in Jerusalem and other ancient walled cities).  The holiday is marked by four main elements; reading the 'Megilla' (a scroll containing the entire book of Esther) in synagogue, giving gifts to the poor, sending food baskets to friends and eating a festive meal.  Of course, costumes are a big part of the fun. 

Needless to say the kids are off from school on Purim.

The day before Purim is a fast day (Ta'anit Esther) which commemorates the three days of fasting from the Purim story, so although the kids are in school it is not really a good day for dressing up in costumes (this may be different in more secular communities where the fast may not be widely observed).

Which brings us to the day before the day before Purim... which is today.  Clear enough? 

Today is the day that a lot of the kids show off their Purim costumes to their friends and teachers in school.  In our town the kids leave school for an hour or so in the morning for a Purim costume parade on the town's main street.  I had to go to work, but Zahava was out with the camera as they parade passed our house:



Before our kids left for school I managed to take a few pictures of them in their costumes.

Here's a picture of Yonah in his Harry Potter get-up:


Next is Gilad dressed as a basketball player (Ariella did his hair):


Of course, Ariella made a splash in her new Saree (complete with jeweled bindi between her eyes):



And lastly, a picture of the whole gang before they went happily off to school:


In case you were wondering, none of us had any idea how to put on a Saree, so I went onto the Web and found several helpful video demonstrations.  There are apparently a bunch of different ways to wear a Saree so I picked what I considered to be the easiest (and funniest).  It is by a young Indian girl who posted her tutorial - along with a funny impersonation of her auntie - on YouTube:

Posted by David Bogner on March 19, 2008 | Permalink


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happy purim! your harry potter looks suspiciously like the harry potter that lives in my house and showed up for purim too!;-)

Posted by: phyllis | Mar 19, 2008 11:48:06 AM

Beautiful kids and great costumes!

Have a good holiday!

Posted by: Ruth | Mar 19, 2008 12:09:38 PM

Beautiful kids and great costumes!

Have a good holiday!

Posted by: Ruth | Mar 19, 2008 12:09:57 PM

Clearly, David, you are not just a giver, but a good listener too. Add that to your blogger's commandments for next year! Not only are your kids adorable, athletic and authentic; that seemingly endless parade of costumes past your house was really amazing to see! I think I'll be showing it to my preschool class today. Thanks!

Posted by: Debbie | Mar 19, 2008 1:15:13 PM

What cute kids!

Posted by: Raizy | Mar 19, 2008 1:21:04 PM

I think I see the top of my daughter's head in picture #1! She's famous!

I'm glad that my job schedule now gives me the flexibility to see the parade. I started at the end, and walked toward the kids, until I found my own.

Doing so, I recalled the quote by the late Mitch Hedberg:

"If you're watching a parade, make sure you stand in one spot. Don't follow it: it never changes. If the parade is boring, run in the opposite direction. You will fast-forward the parade."

Posted by: Dave (Balashon) | Mar 19, 2008 1:24:16 PM

There's a medieval city wall right across the street... I guess we qualify. :-) No comments, please.

פורים שמח!

Posted by: a. | Mar 19, 2008 2:24:59 PM

Yonah is looking very grown-up. (Esp. as compared to the picture you have as the link to his album.)
I also love Ariella's costume. I notice her shirt is a little longer than the girl's shirt. :)

Posted by: Channah | Mar 19, 2008 3:40:26 PM

So I'm driving my kids to school this morning and _my_ 12-year-old daughter asks me if I know how to tie a sheet into a sari. This morning I had to say I didn't, but now I know where to point her!

Thanks David.

Posted by: The Observer | Mar 19, 2008 4:10:51 PM

Here in Chashmonaim, we celebrated the day before, the day before, the day before Purim. Apparently, many of the teachers have Wed. off, so they made the kids' parade on Tues. At the rate we are going, Purim will be longer than Pesach.

Chag Sameach!

Posted by: Rachel | Mar 19, 2008 4:14:00 PM

Such cute costumes! The kids look adorable. Simchat Purim!

Posted by: SaraK | Mar 19, 2008 4:39:32 PM

Great pics! Love that Gilad's hair is long enough to braid and that Ari 'did his do' for him! Yonah looks so big... jeesh.

Sophie is dressing up in a Sari type of outfit, as well, for Purim (tho' with a crown, so she'll be Queen Esther with a Sari!) She's looking forward to the Purim Carnival tomorrow night.

Posted by: Val | Mar 19, 2008 5:26:24 PM

The kids look adorable. I love the idea of the parade - what fun! I'm so excited that Akiva will be able to do it next year!

Posted by: Noa | Mar 19, 2008 5:44:16 PM

I am sad to say that we're in negotiations about the Purim costume. Nothing like waiting for the last minute to make it happen.

Posted by: Jack | Mar 19, 2008 5:51:29 PM

just got back from our adloyada too! it's so much fun. my daughter marched in it this year(we're quite formal about ours here in the center of the country, with a theme and everything -- her school is so big only that specific grade can march every year, so it's sort of a rite of passage) i love this time of year! your kids look great, btw.

Posted by: nikki | Mar 19, 2008 6:32:03 PM

There are a LOT of ways to wear a sari--regional and fashion variations. Ariella looks smashing in hers.

A friend of mine wore a sari for her wedding. She's not Indian, neither is he--long story--anyway, the Hindu friend who was supposed to get her dressed got stuck in traffic, and the other friend who knew how to wrap a sari was running errands that morning, so the rest of us did the best we could. She looked beautiful, but far more Etruscan than Hindi--we basically, I realized later, replicated the palla you see Roman matrons wearing in statuary. When in doubt, fall back on your art history classes.

"Who dressed Basya?" the friend who knew how to wrap a sari whispered to me later. "Uh, me, and Niamh, and Gilah..." "Thought so."

Since then, she has worn a sari to each wedding in our circle--most recently mine. But she knows how to wrap one now.

Yonah is too cute for word. But Gilad, I have to say, just looks like one of my students. Is this recognizably a costume in your neck of the woods?

Posted by: balabusta in blue jeans | Mar 19, 2008 7:11:06 PM

Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Mar 19, 2008 7:26:45 PM

Wow, I'd never heard of the day before day before custom! Nice idea, and harry potter looks immense!

Posted by: David, UK | Mar 19, 2008 7:59:48 PM


Your Harry Potter is notably cuter than the one in the movies, and Ariella looks classy as can be.

Posted by: Foxfier | Mar 19, 2008 8:59:48 PM

So cute, all three of them, and Ariella looks lovely in the sari!

Posted by: Irina | Mar 19, 2008 9:37:10 PM

i love seeing all the kids in their costumes! thanks for sharing pics of your bunch - adorable as ever! now we want to see you and the Mrs in your costumes....

chag sameach!!

Posted by: Hadassah | Mar 19, 2008 9:49:10 PM

Our first Purim, and my kids missed their parade because I unknowingly scheduled my daughter's bat mitzvah for last night...

But there's alot going on here on the actual day of Purim, so we should be good.

Your kids looked great.

Happy Purim!

Posted by: Baila | Mar 20, 2008 9:35:15 AM

Enjoy - my youngest are already on the cusp of no longer wanting to dress up.

Get out that camera!!!

Posted by: Ben-David | Mar 20, 2008 10:08:24 AM

phyllis... apparently there's a lot of that going around lately. :-)

Ruth... Thanks. And thanks. ;-)

Debbie... Tell that to my wife. She insists I don't listen. :-)

Raizy... Thankfully they favor their mother. :-)

Dave (Balashon)... Based on the quote and the fact that you started at the end and moved backwards, are we to assume you intended to 'fast forward' the parade?

a. ... But were the walls standing when the Purim story took place?

Channah... Yes, I know I have been very bad about updating the photo albums. Don't rub it in. :-)

The Observer... You'd have to tear a few sheets and sew them end to end to make a sari. Luckily, plain cotton sarees can be purchased for as little as $20 - $25.

Rachel... No problem, so long as they don't start adding all the crazy stringencies like they do every year for Pesach.

SaraK... Thanks. You too.

Val... Wave goodbye to Gilad's hair. He knows that the second Purim is over he is getting a real haircut so he can look like a mentch again.

Noa... Does that mean it's a done deal?

Jack... No hurry. :-)

nikki... Any chance you'd send me a couple of pics of your kids in their costumes. It really is crazy that we live so close and I have no faces to put with your frequent references.

balabusta in blue jeans ... This way of wearing the Saree seems to be more like the way they wear it in the South of India. The couple of demos for the northern way of wearing it were just too complicated for me. Great story though. I loved seeing all the colorful Sarees when I was last in India. Oh, and Gilad is at that age where he doesn't want to dress up... but he doesnt NOT want to dress up. This was a subtle compromise on his part.

Ilana-Davita ... Don't thank me... I'm a giver. :-)

David, UK... Coming from a Brit that's high praise indeed. :-)

Foxfier... Thanks, I'll pass the compliments along.

Irina... I'll let them know (although Ariella lurks here from time to time). :-)

HadassahZahava will probably dress up in her 'punjabi suit' but I'm not much of a dress-up kinda guy. Sorry.

Baila... Have a great one Baila. That's a good reason to miss the parade.

Ben-David... Take pictures of the kids in their costumes?! [smacks forehead] Why didn't I think of that?! /sarcasm. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Mar 20, 2008 1:27:00 PM

She's a beauty!

Posted by: Alice | Mar 20, 2008 11:34:01 PM

The kids look terrific, and I know Eli will get a kick out of seeing Gilad looking like a pale Allen Iverson! Chag Sameach!!!

Posted by: Marsha, in Riverdale for Purim/Shabbat | Mar 21, 2008 6:49:06 AM

Great costumes! And love the photos of the parade. I do have to admit--the Purim spirit is rather weaker here in T"A.

Posted by: Gila | Mar 22, 2008 11:29:32 PM

Fabulous costumes. Ariella is lovely in hers.

I was looking at the photo of her with the door in the background; while noticing how many locks are on the door, I spotted something else. Are those "Magnetic Poetry" tiles on the back of the door?

Posted by: Pearl | Mar 24, 2008 10:38:09 PM

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