Purim in Israel is different. It’s not like Purim in the old country (USA).
In the old country, Purim is usually limited to the ‘Jewish’ neighbourhood(s). The city itself doesn’t celebrate Purim. That city (usually) isn’t Jewish.
In Israel, particularly in the Jerusalem area, Purim is everywhere. Even secular Jews join in the festivities. Children from all backgrounds participate in the time-honored tradition of donning costumes and clown-style make-up. Adults join in. Teachers join in. Rabbis join in.
Even city busses join in.
On Purim, the signs on busses that identify bus number and neighbourhood now display an additional line: Happy Purim (in Hebrew, of course).
Everywhere you go, people say (in Hebrew), ‘Happy Purim’—or more correctly (because of how Hebrew grammar works), ‘Purim Happy’.
In Hebrew, we say, 'Purim Someach'.
Cab drivers, bus drivers, store clerks: everyone says, ‘Purim Happy!’
Okay, so what they’re really saying is ‘Happy Purim’. But if you want to feel just a little bit Israeli today, the exact transliteration is, ‘Purim Happy’.
Our city sponsored a ‘Purim Parade’. City streets were blocked off. Buses were re-routed. The city built floats. Children and adults walked in the parade and lined the streets.
Here’s a look at some of yesterday’s—Thursday, March 5, 2015--parade. The pictures come from a Jacob Richman website at http://www.jr.co.il/ma/pic/2015/ma1009.htm (if the link doesn't work, copy it and type it into your search engine).
You might notice in these pictures how snowy it isn’t. You might see how people are not-dressed for snow, ice, wild and cold:
The white in the (upper-center) distant background scenery of this last picture isn’t snow. It’s desert sand. The green under that white sand is G-d’s gift to the Jewish nation.
For those of us who live outside-but-close to Jerusalem, Purim can be especially joyous. Jerusalem (in the highest part of the high-center background of the last picture) celebrates Purim one day after the rest of us. That means that, if you feel very, very happy, you can celebrate Purim not just one day, but two days.
For example, one of my daughters this year stayed with us for Purim. She celebrated it with us. Then, late yesterday afternoon (Purim), she took the bus into Jerusalem to celebrate Purim all over again with Jerusalemites today.
Mostly, it’s young adults who do this. Once one becomes a parent, it seems that one can only enjoy that Purim happiness just once-in-row, not twice-in-a-row.
I guess twice-in-a-row requires youthfulness.
For all of you not in Israel, my daughter can talk to you today from Jerusalem and speak just like the Israeli she is, to say:
‘Purim Happy (Purim Someach) to all of you!’