■ For me, last year’s Purim was the last event of the old world, pre-corona. We invited five families over for our Purim seudah and between the little kids screaming and the grown-ups drinking, we expected it to be a blast.
But the days before Purim were when the panic really hit Israel, and as of Purim morning, all five families had either canceled on us or were unsure whether they would actually come.
In the end, four of the families came, and most of the table conversation centered around how this whole thing probably wasn’t as big a deal as people were saying. I wish we had been right.
This year? Just me, my wife and three kids. We’ll probably order takeout food for our seudah, and instead of buying new costumes, we’ll wear some of our favorite outfits from Purims past.
But we all have our vaccines, and we look forward to hanging this pandemic like Haman on a tree!
– Zev Stub, business reporter
■ LAST PURIM, I had especially high hopes for the comeback of the Roaring Twenties, and dressed up as a flapper in honor of 2020. Alas, as we all know, 2020 wasn’t exactly how I planned to kick off the revitalized Jazz Age.
This year, I’ll be decked out as American rapper Nicki Minaj, nursing a bottle of wine with a couple of close friends as we listen to the megillah reading, then go out looking for parties we know don’t exist.
– Abigail Adler, breaking news editor
■ PURIM HAS always been special to me – the happiness and joy are contagious, effervescent, the costumes on Jerusalem’s streets flamboyant, brilliant, the feeling free free free! You never knew who you would meet and what kind of trouble you would stumble into (wine-sodden wink).
And now it’s bittersweet: I think of last year’s Purim as “The Last Good Time” in our pre-corona world.
How innocent we were, that final, sepia-tinged Purim! As I gallivanted around town in March 2020 dressed like the child of the ’80s I once was – in my side pony, white high-top Converse and bright blue unicorn knee socks – I had no clue. None of us did; it was probably better that way. I was annoyed that the municipality had canceled the raucous street parties, perhaps a little freaked out by the police breaking up large gatherings. But the show went on... for another day or two.
I think it was that Saturday night I blithely went to a café and was surprised to be ushered out when the manager said all eateries were being shut down. I was shocked – shocked! – to then learn that my beloved gym would be closing. Indefinitely. And then the snowball rolled on and suddenly the streets and Seder tables were empty, faces hidden behind masks.
And now, a year later, we’re a shell-shocked human army, a million wrinkles and gray hairs “richer.” The vaccine is a reality. Will we soon be able to shed our confining masks? Will we ever feel safe again, carelessly crammed together around a seudah table? Will we take baby steps out into this new post-corona world this Purim? Or will we retreat, locked down yet again in our homes, frightened and frustrated?
There’s no way to know, but one thing’s for sure: We deserve to celebrate. So regardless of lingering fears, I hope we all raise our glasses this Purim to ourselves. We’re fighters. We’ve survived.
I certainly will. Pass the Merlot!
– Erica Schachne, editor, In Jerusalem and the Magazine
■ THE LOSS of a proper Purim has not been easy for me. As a secular Jew, the holiday is more about the childlike fun of playing dress-up on the one day of the year that’s acceptable for adults to do so. From Princess Leia to a pirate, Purim’s my time of year.
Now, it looks like the pirate aspect is the only part that stays: Yo-ho-ho and an evening of rum-based cocktails at home with my fiancé is the plan this year.
– Tamar Beeri, web desk manager
■ AS A new father, I will be teaming up with my five-month-old daughter Isabella to celebrate her first Purim as co-Cookie Monsters.
– Alex Winston, web desk manager