Yes, Sneezy: No, Doc

Posted by mwallach on March 21, 2011 in My Kids, New To You, Tribe Members |

Dear That’s Life,

If I did not know better, I would think I’ve been nesting.

Black contractor garbage bag in hand, I was busy yesterday cleaning out various closets and cupboards in my house despite the barrage of mishloach manot being delivered and the constant playing of the “The Purim Song” near my front door.  I had already been to minyan, heard megillah, been to the gym and was back at home to wake the kids and get them dressed in their costumes to go back to shul before the clock struck 9:00am. This Purim, however, even before my early day had started, I got a dose of dvrei torah and gained insights into the chag I had never known before.

My second oldest daughter has been hounding me to volunteer at Masbia, the kosher restaurant chain which serves its patrons free of charge, giving many hungry people a hot meal and a warm smile. We have not been there in a while and she has eagerly been asking us to return. “We’ll get a better seat,” she told me in an effort to garner support she thought she needed.  We were never opposed to volunteering – just needed to find the convenient time to do it. I was perplexed, however, by what she meant. “A better seat?” I asked. “Yes,” she said, “in shamayim (Heaven).” She explained that the more mitzvot (good deeds) we do while we are alive, the better the seat from where we could learn Torah in the next life. I was pretty taken aback by her comment but assured her that no matter what the rewards were in the next world, we should still volunteer in this one.

Later that day, we went for a walk – she had more interesting knowledge to share. Purim, she explained, was the one day out of the year when Hashem had to answer our prayers for whatever we asked. Because Purim is such a busy day, she said, it is possible we will forget to do something, like daven (pray). Maybe we would daven too quickly because of the nature of the day, she said, adding or “because we were drunk.” That’s why, she explained, that if we daven on Purim and we daven for something specific, Hashem has to give it to us. If it was only that simple, I said, but she stood by what she had learned.  A little disturbed about the whole ‘we may be too drunk and forget to daven’ message, I accepted what she had told me and kept it in mind as I davened Sunday morning. This, however, was not the strangest thing I learned from my children this Purim. 

My son brought home the Purim puppet theatre he made in school, complete with stick puppets of each character so he could tell the story himself. It is a wonderful idea and allows the kids to tell the story in their words, in their voice. I knew all of the major players, except for one. “That’s Sneezy,” he told me. ‘I’m sorry – that’s WHO?’ I thought. “Sneezy?” I asked him. He nodded. “Sneezy is the clown that told Vashti to go to the ball,” he explained confidently, “and when she wouldn’t go, they put her in jail.” Now, a little more than disturbed, I said, “She went to jail?” Again, he nodded. “Yes,” he said, adding, “and she grew a tail.” The ‘tail’ I had heard before, but between the advent of ‘Sneezy’ and Vashti’s otherwise unknown time in the pokey, I was not thrilled.

The kids were invited to dress in ‘Purim related costumes’ for our school’s Shushan Purim chagigah. When they boarded the bus this morning, they were all ready. I did not, however, have one Mordechai and one Esther – I had one Buzz Lightyear and one fairy. My husband was confused as he knew the drill and read the flyer that was sent home requesting what the children were to wear. There is part of me, I explained, that objected to having to fight with my kids over a second set of costumes. One melt down per Purim is plenty. If this is what they had decided on to begin with, then this is what was going to be and so off Buzz and the fairy went to school. I also, however, had a second logical explanation.

Sneezy, it seems, had a cousin who was a fairy. Buzz Lightyear is from the future – he went to help the Jews of Shushan… and two can play at this game.


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