Ma'alot Tivon Overseas Letter Between Purim and Pesach, March 7, 2010
Purim at Ma'a lot Tivon is one of our most hectic times. Every year we put on an original Purim spiel, a play written especially for Purim. Each year King Ahasuerus visits a different venue – a period in history, a place in Israel or one of the Jewish communities in the world. Our choir performs songs from the relevant period or country and the actors amuse the audience with comic but educational texts. All this takes place after the reading of the Megilla. After the play there's usually a costume parade for the kids and a food fair in the style of the yearly play. This year the Purim spiel took place in Hollywood and highlighted the Jewish American influence on American culture. The songs were mostly by Jewish American composers like Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin and George Gershwin, and of course, Sholom Secunda. The rehearsals for this project take several weeks almost on a daily basis and the scenery, decoration and all the parts are done by members of our congregation. We get a very nice turn out for this – about 200 people in the audience. After the play we served bagels and cream cheese or egg salad, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, popcorn and marshmallow. A good time was had by all! I'm including some pictures.
Before Tu b'Shvat our new Aron Kodesh and Parochet were dedicated. The Parochet was made by our Chairperson, Michal Gavrieli.
About a week later we celebrated Tu biShvat with a traditional seder for the holiday. The Zionist chalutzim put great value on this holiday and it became one of the symbols of the return to Eretz Yisrael in the last century, and for many years planting trees was the most important part of the holiday. In recent years there's a tendency to look for new meanings for this holiday, mostly in the direction of the environment.
We are now getting ready for Pesach and this is a very special time in Israel, together with the important national holidays that follow – Holocaust Remembrance Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day.
As a congregation we celebrate Pesach together on the eve of the last day of the holiday. This year we are dedicating this gathering to different ethnic traditions of Pesach – liturgy, various customs, stories
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concerning characters from the Haggaddah, foods etc'. The choir is hard at work learning different melodies for several of the Haggaddah songs and our Rabbi Corrie Zeidler is busy enlisting people to take on the different parts of the event.
You will be hearing more about Pesach and the national holidays in our next Newsletter.
In the meantime, we would all like to wish you a wonderful Pesach and look forward to seeing all of you here among us should come to Israel – it's very beautiful here in the spring!
All best wishes,
Rabbi Corrie Zeidler
Michal Gavrieli, Ma’alot Tivon chair person
Nira Zer, Ma'alot Tivon, coordinator
Ma’alot Tivon congregation.