You know how people wish each other a "Freilichen Purim," a happy Purim? Well, here in New York City (as well as other American states) we can wish each other a "Fluffy Purim" this year. The snow is falling steadily and merrily on us this Purim 5775.

I'm trying to make the best of this messy, slushy, rather inconvenient situation! We are commanded to be joyful during the month of Adar, and Purim is the star of Adar, ain't it? So, in my quest to avoid getting annoyed at the inclement weather and how it is cramping at least some of our festive activities, I will say, "Always look on the bright side of life" and exult in this white, cold and fluffy Purim.

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I do want to share a little something sweet that happened on this rather unseasonal Purim holiday. I exchanged Mishloach Manot with a neighbor this morning, a family I have not shared with in the past. And that was fun.


In past years I have given bottles of wine and some candy to friends and neighbors, but starting last year I decided that the bottles were getting too heavy and my fears of shattered glass got the best of me. This year my Purim packages included cookies, sucking candies, snack crackers, juice boxes and a few other nosh items. And I decided not to drive to some friends who live in neighborhoods a bit further away (sorry!) because of the snow-clogged roads. However, I decided to give the snack pack to a family that lives half a block away from my house.

I often chat briefly in the mornings with the mother of this family. She waits for a school bus near my house, with two of her sons. I live on an avenue which sees a lot of school bus traffic, and she lives on the side street. Often we talk when I come home, after dropping off my younger daughter at her middle school. Mostly we exchange banal pleasantries but a few times we have spoken more in depth about a host of topics. And I enjoy doing so first, because she is nice and second, because I think it is good when Jews of varying levels of religious observance can find common ground and be neighborly. See, I am a moderate-to-liberal Conservative Jew and she is fairly observant. I try to look past categories and I hope that others do as well.

Anyway, I was in my car after dropping my older daughter off at school, so I drove to her house to drop off Mishloach Manot. I parked the car and asked a man who was shoveling snow, "Is your wife the blonde lady?" He chuckled and said yes. So I came inside their house and spoke with my neighbors and their kids, for about ten minutes. Their children were arrayed in a variety of costumes (cop, princess, clown) and we gave each other food packages. I met Grandpa as well. We talked about the crazy weather, the holiday, and other things.

Is this unusual? No. But this is definitely a good trend to start: each Purim, gifting someone new with Mishloach Manot. I intend to exchange with this family next year, certainly, and I hope that each year I expand my scope.




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