Shayna Abramson

What You See at Hadassah Children’s Hospital on Purim

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.

About the Author
Shayna Abramson, a part-Brazilian native Manhattanite, studied History and Jewish Studies at Johns Hopkins University before moving to Jerusalem. She has also spent some time studying Torah at the Drisha Institute in Manhattan, and has a passion for soccer and poetry. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Political Science from Hebrew University, and is a rabbinic fellow at Beit Midrash Har'el.