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October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
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“It’s Me! Chaim!”

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Dear Mordechai,

I’m thinking of dressing up with my kids this Purim. Should I buy a costume, or just rent one?

Indecisive  

Dear Indecisive,

Renting sounds nice, because you’re only going to wear the costume once anyway, and by the time you’re done with it, it’s not something anyone else is going to want to wear.

If you do decide to buy, the best time to do that is the week after Halloween, though you’re mostly going to find creepy ghosty things like corpses and zombies that in general would put a real damper on your 4-year-old’s Purim.

 

 

Dear Mordechai,

Do I have to get drunk on Purim?

Driving All Day  

Dear Driving,

No.  All you really need is to drink a little more than you’re used to.  Unless you’re an alcoholic.

A safe option – highly recommended by a lot of rabbis – is to drink a little and then nap more than you’re used to.  Like if you normally nap for three hours a day, you can nap for four.

 

 

Dear Mordechai,

Who on earth has time to nap on Purim?

Driving All Day  

Dear Driving,

That’s a good question.  Especially in the old days when they came up with this idea, and they had to make all their mishloach manos by hand and had to walk them to all of their kids’ teachers, some of whom lived in entirely different shtetls.

 

 

Dear Mordechai,

My kids want me to dress up and go delivering mishloach manos with them, but I don’t really want to.  I want to nap.  Do you have any creative ideas that will make everyone happy?

Already in PJs  

Dear Already,

Yes. Let’s say your name is Chaim.  Buy a parrot, and train it to say, “Squawk!  It’s me! Chaim!” and send it around town perched on one of your kids’ shoulders.  Ideally whichever kid is dressed as a pirate.  You should also train it not to eat the poppy seeds out of the hamantaschen.  Or fly away.

I’d seriously consider renting the parrot, though, if this is an option for you.  Parrots are not easy to take care of long term. And they don’t die.  Ever. (I’m serious.  95 years on average. You have to put it in your will. I don’t know if that’s worth it for one joke.)

 

 

Dear Mordechai,

I keep hearing people say that Yom Kippur is like Purim.  How on earth is Yom Kippur like Purim?

Pigging Out  

Dear Pigging,

On the surface, Yom Kippur seems more like Taanis Esther, if anything.  Except that Yom Kippur seems to fall out on a Shabbos most of the time, while Taanis Esther, more often than not, falls out on a Thursday.  Even if Purim itself is on a Thursday, Taanis Esther will somehow manage to fall out on the previous Thursday.

 

But Yom Kippur IS like Purim:

1. They’re both high holidays,

2. All you think about the entire day is food,

3. You don’t eat right the entire day,

4. You’re wearing a weird combination of clothes you don’t normally wear together,

5. Some of which have wine stains,

6. Your kids are way too jumpy for some reason,

7. You don’t have a chance to lie down, and

8. At some point, you may find yourself chasing a live bird down the block.

 

“It’s me!  Chaim!” the bird will say.

Also, on Purim, we give our friends manos, and before Yom Kippur, we ask forgiveness from those very same people.

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