Adar 15, 5777: Last night I went to my synagogue’s Purim celebration. After arriving early and trouble-shooting with the sound equipment, I finally got into my Age of Adz-era Sufjan Stevens costume and started noshing on Hamantashen.
My friends arrived in drag, formal wear, and costume; we watched the spiel together. To conclude, the rabbi led us in a chant of solidarity. He shouted, “When they come for the Muslims, we say not this time motherfuckers!”
“When they come for the refugees, we say not this time motherfuckers!”
“When they come for the black people, we say not this time motherfuckers!”
“When they come for the earth, the water, the oil, we say not this time motherfuckers!”
“When they come for the Jews, we say not this time motherfuckers!”
I nearly cried then, thinking of the oppressions so many communities face and the resulting courage we’ve held onto to protect each other. But it was time to celebrate, even in the glowing orange face of danger.
My friends and I then made our way to large gymnasium where the Klezmer band was playing, and I learned how to dance for the first time – holding hands, spinning, and twirling. My friends were downing beers and cocktails, fulfilling the mitzvah of getting smashed. However, I had nursed a terrible hangover for the majority of the day, so I stuck to water and ginger ale.
Later, we all got down to the DJs playing Beyoncé in the black box, illuminated by strobes. I danced with the rabbi and friends, watching everyone slowly getting more tipsy. It was a great time.
This was my first time celebrating Purim and definitely not my last. Although I know that the rest of the holidays are unlike Purim in the way they’re celebrated, I’m looking forward to the rest of my Jewish journey.
Hashem has blessed my friends and I in great and beautiful ways.