Purim in Israel, Chabad Style

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

We had the privilege to be in Israel for Purim night.

We are going down Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv looking for a synagogue for Megillah reading.

Out of nowhere comes this Rabbi in Purim costume dashing down the sidewalk on roller skates.

He pulls up in front of me and asks me to join them at the Chabad shule (#770 of course).

Who can say no when Chabad is not only so cool and inviting, but also always helping to keep our minds focused on doing another mitzvah and towards the ultimate coming of Mashiach.

After (easily) convincing me to join, then off goes the Rabbi again on his skates around and across the street to bring more people in to the love of Yiddishkeit.

Again he stops, this time in front of the synagogue (a repurposed real estate office), takes out a (mini) boom box and starts playing a host of happy Purim songs for all the people passing by who smile and some even start singing along.

One more zoom around the street and then back at the makeshift bimah to lead evening prayers still on his skates and with a pink wig instead of the traditional black Hasidic hat.

Frankly it didn’t matter what the Rabbi wore, because it wasn’t about his outfit or the Purim party, but rather about being mekarev (i.e. bringing close) others to Hashem.

Over and over, I find you just gotta love everything about Chabad–they understand faith, ritual, and people’s hearts and for that and their acceptance of all Jews, I truly appreciate them!

About the Author
Andy Blumenthal is business and technology leader who writes frequently about Jewish life, culture, and security. All opinions are his own.
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