Today, at Hadassah Children’s Hospital, I witnessed loads of people in costume, using their day off to volunteer and give out bags of candy to children stuck in the hospital for Purim. I saw a man in his twenties, dressed as Superman, accompanied by his mom, handing out hamantashen and chocolates. I saw a family of six, decked out in their Purim finest, with a pile of colorful gift-bags that was as large as the smallest child.
Seeing all the volunteers reminded me of why I made aliyah: I wanted to join this culture of giving, and to one day raise my kids with the value of contributing to something larger than oneself. I wanted to be part of a society in which Purim is a national holiday, family time is valued, and volunteering is normal.
The children’s unit was full of Jewish and Arab patients, and Jewish and Arab staff: Everyone partook in the festivities, and everyone was offered candy.
As I travelled back home, I remembered that Purim is a holiday for publicizing miracles, so here goes:
That there is a Jewish State, where Purim is a national holiday, is a miracle. That a society exists in which families, en masse, use their Purim as an opportunity to volunteer, is a miracle. That Hadassah hospital uses some of the world’s most advanced technology to help Arab and Jewish children, is a miracle.
Thank you God for the miracles.