Question of the week:
"So, Mommy, how exactly DO you kill someone on a tree?"
I had kind of been expecting that one - after all, the Tree plays a big part in the Purim story. It defines "vnahafochu." The tree that Haman built to kill Mordechai - haha! - is where he and his sons meet their Maker. And let me tell, She is NOT happy.
So with all this talk about killing people on trees, the question was bound to come up. Unfortunately I was driving at the time, so I couldn't whip out my copy of "Lonesome Dove," but I did grab this "teachable moment" by starting out, "So you know how we're always telling you guys not to grab each other around the neck.....?"
As per Israel protocol, "Purim" officially started on Rosh Chodesh Adar (and it is a machloket rishonim whether to start on the 1st day of RC, which is still, technically, Shvat, or the 2nd. Ariella's school held by the second day, quoting the great rav who so famously said, "I don't get this whole two days of rosh chodesh thing.")
So far, we've had Pajama Day (Yaakov), dress up as the avot/imahot day (Ariella - she went as "Rivkah" and resorted to writing "Rivkah" on her cheek because, shockingly, it wasn't clear which "ima" she was), facepaint days (Yaakov - he does love a good butterfly), Shuk Purim (Ariella), fifth and six graders teaching (Ariella), and a Purim party sponsored by the Misrad Haklitah, where the costumes were debuted.
In between all of this, the children have managed to do some learning about the megillah. Haman - bad. Mordechai and Esther - good. Charvonah - good, because the song says so. Achashverosh - unclear. Also, we have learned that Antiochus is not, in fact, the same person as Achashverosh. And Yaakov does a nice rendtion of the song, "U'Mordechai yatzah...."
Tonight we assembled our mishloach manot (Theme: "Junk Food.") Yaakov needs to bring one in tomorrow for a Secret Shushan exchange. Everyone brings one in, and then they have a drawing so each kid ends up with a friend's MM. Yaakov received specific instructions for what to pack in his MM. Which makes sense, because you don't want to be the kid that gets the loser MM of Bamba and Tropi (this weird, Capri-Sun like drink made of sugar and purple) while someone else got the Taj Mahal of mishloach manot, simply because their mother cared more.
To that end, we packed a Bissli, chocolate, covered wafer, lollipop, hamantash, and trinket (we chose balloon.) The items were placed, as per instructions, inside the mask the children made in gan, and wrapped with the provided red cellophane.
They may not know what to do with Yaakov when he comes in with socks on his hands, but when it comes to mishloach manot, they are models of efficiency.