Sunday, February 29, 2004

Tomorrow we Lie

Purim is a funny time - funny peculiar that is, not funny ha-ha. Purim is one of the only times that Chassidim really let their hair down. Metaphorically speaking of course because Chassidim shave their hair off actually.

It is a time when heavy drinking is not only sanctioned but positively encouraged. Unaccustomed to this state, Purim is the day when you can meet the real men behind their everyday masks. So the kids are wearing masks and their dads have taken off theirs - venahapoch hu in the finest tradition.

It is one of the only times that you can sit down with a group of the finest Chassidim simply to have fun. With no feeling of guilt for not being busy learning now, they can rib and jostle with everyone. As the drinking starts taking effect the teasing becomes more witty and catty. We discover that Yankel doesn’t think Shmeel takes him seriously enough. That Shimeon is Kvetching stam and Mottel is a Yenne Ying. But Mottel has got a Rabunishe gang and Shmeel digs that but Yankel doesn’t. The Shgatzim are also allowed to join in on Purim. As long as there is no foul language of course. So we can hear that the only one who never came late to davening this year was Motty who never came at all.

In the one day in the year when the iron wall of ‘being good’ is not there, everybody feels like a Shaigetz in a way. To paraphrase the real apikorsim 'we eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we lie'. How hard it must be for some of those boys to continually pretend to be God's little warriors, when they know in their hearts of hearts that they were not created to be like that. Not because they deny how wonderful it is, just because they don’t want to be there.

On this day we connect the Chassidim and the Shagatzim. Maybe this year one of them will look me in the eye and tell me “Yeedel you might be right. It is possible to be Shaigetz and still to be a Yeed.”

No comments: