Monday, February 19, 2007

Be Happy! It's Adar!

Today was the 1st Day of Adar. It is now the 2nd of Adar because the Hebrew day starts at sunset.

We had two days of Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) this month because the month just passed (Shevat) has 30 days.

Adar is a happy month! In two weeks we will celebrate the holiday of Purim, the feast of lots. The children will dress up in costumes and we will all listen as Megillat Esther (the book of Esther) is read. We will use noisemakers to drown out the name of "that evil Haman," who tried to destroy the Jews of Shushan.

Purim is the Jewish version of Carnival--a late winter holiday of hilarity when everything is turned upside down. It is customary for servants to become rulers and rulers to become servants. A play called a Purim Shpiel is often performed in which those in power are roasted. In the old days, before motorized vehicles, one was supposed to drink enough Shnapps or Vodka so that one could not tell the difference between "Curse Haman!" and "Bless Mordechai!" (I presume the old rabbis had asses that knew the way home).

But there are other reasons to be happy it is Adar. It is the last month of winter. And this has been a real winter for us. The days are getting longer and longer now, and the snow has finally melted from our driveway-- and although we are supposed to get more precipitation soon, it looks like it will be rain as the temperature in Albuquerque reached a balmy 63 degrees today. Here, it was in the low 50's, but a warm wind is blowing over the land, bringing with it "Mud Time." So the boots will remained parked by the door for a while. And the unpaved roads in our neighborhood--well--people who must drive them will still need their 4 Wheel Drive.
There are some personal reasons to be happy in our house too! I not only passed my first real academic test in 15 years--I got an 89! In Neurobiology! I am ecstatic. I know that I have said that I was not motivated by grades--but it sure is nice to know that I did learn something.
Also, the bathtub is finally in! Pictures tomorrow. There is still caulking and some tile patching to do, of course--but the tub is no longer in the middle of my bedroom. O, frabjous day!
Today, N. and I picked the following poem to read in honor of Adar:
Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One two! One two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

1 comment:

Amie said...

The book of Esther is one of my favorites. Purim sounds like a fun celebration.

The one downfall of Spring...mud. We still have a couple more weeks (at least) before mud season here.