Hebrew School

Purim 2009 wrap
March 12, 2009, 11:14 am
Filed under: jewish | Tags: , , , , , ,

Lot of good costumes this Purim. A lot of near-misses, too!

Here’s some highlights and lowlights from around the interwebs…

above: Mordechai? Haman? drunk? sober?

New York.



Madonna, seen here emerging from some sort of kabbalah Purim party in Manhattan, thoroughly uninspiring.


Purim: What should my costume be?

Purim starts on Monday night! Who should I dress up as?

Should I be Blonde on Blonde-era Dylan/early-’80s Dr. Who?

Should I be Inauguration Day Jay-Z/Humpty Hump?

Should I take my cue from the trendsetters below and wear one of those keffiyehs circa 1997 Berlin 2008 Toronto Mall of America 2011?

Do you think I should I dress like Kanye West on Saturday Night Live when his autotune/vocal double got all fucked up?

Should I “keep my love locked down?”

Should I drink until I can’t tell the difference between Mordechai Kaplan and Vashti Bunyan?


Leave your Purim costume suggestions in the comment section below (even anonymously), or email me at hebrewschoolmusic at gmail dot com.

It’s Purim
March 20, 2008, 8:08 am
Filed under: records | Tags: , ,

I went to see a friend’s band last night in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It’s a new band, and this was their first show. Congratulating my friend after their set was over, I pointed out to my friend (also Jewish) that perhaps it was kismet that their first gig had occurred on Purim (which began at sundown last night). “What?! It’s Purim??!” he exclaimed. Then one of his bandmates asked if this was the holiday of repentance, where sins were cast off.

In my mind, Yom Kippur is the day where Purim is atoned for. The holiday of Purim is a costume masquerade where Jews are actually commanded by the Talmud to drink until they cannot tell the difference between Mordechai (a hero of the Purim story) and Haman (the villain). In the Hasidic neighborhoods of Brooklyn on this day, one can see men staggering around drunk at three in the afternoon, and kids dressed up as not only the traditional characters, but also the likes of Michael Jackson, Hannah Montana, et al.

At any rate, perhaps you can drink enough wine, or beer, or Slivovitz to appreciate this awful-enough-to-be-great Purim children’s record which was lent to me a while ago.

This record, like the Chanukah record I wrote about last December, is credited to Shirley R. Cohen. I also have yet another record which bears her name. I’m starting to think that Shirley Cohen was no more than a serial pen name of the day, a Franklin W. Dixon of children’s Jewish audio if you will, churning out hastily-produced swill to please a mass audience.

Then again, I’m sure there are plenty of folks out there who might remember this record fondly, connecting it to their childhood with more meaningful associations which go far beyond the sum of its parts.

At any rate, have a happy Purim, everyone, and make sure to perform your scriptural duties with all due solemnity.