Submitted by Julie Hunter 😊

February 25-26 brings us a Pandemic Purim. Purim usually finds the Jewish community of Whatcom County reading the whole Megillah (the Book of Esther) at Beth Israel Synagogue, retelling the story with a parody called the Purim Spiel, and dancing in costume to a klezmer band with breaks to eat triangular shaped cookies called Hamantaschen.

Purim, a celebration of Jewish survival in ancient Persia, is an occasion to give boxes of treats (mishloach manot) to dear ones , and to also provide food for the poor (mattanot la-evyonim).

This year families will connect over Zoom with each other and their congregations. We’ll still wear our silly costumes, bake our triangular cookies, and send each other boxes of treats. Trips to the food bank will be made. Next year, we’ll be holding hands, dancing, and singing as we celebrate another year of survival.

Four images in a collage.  On the upper left, a plate of cookies shaped like a triangle with sit on a white plate.  On the upper right, the cookies are placed as ears on a drawing of a face with slanted eyebrows a curly mustache.  The bottom left is a scroll, curled up on right end.  The final picture on the bottom right has actors on a stage, one with a bright red cape and white top, the middle actor has a purple and black dress, and on the far right an actor with a dark green trench coat, long beard, and furry hat.
The cookies are the hamantaschen. They represent the ears of the villain of the story, Haman. The scroll is the Megillah, the Book of Esther, and the people in costume are acting in the Purim Spiel.