Thursday, March 20, 2008
Happy Holidays!
I know, it's March. But it's totally holiday season in my house. In fact this week, there are 3 minimum. And I'm not even talking about Easter! Cause I'm a Jewish atheist. In case you hadn't heard...

Anyway, today is the Fast of Esther, and tonight is the start of Purim, which some Rabbis believe is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. If you live in Kosher Canyon, expect lots of kidlets in costume this Friday. It's like the Jewish Hallowe'en, only holier!

I wrote a little bit about the meaning of Purim last year.

So, in addition to Purim, yesterday was the start of the newish holiday (because I'm also newish), Discardia. Discardia was founded 5 years ago by MetaGrrl, Dinah, as a holiday that falls between the solstices & equinoxes and their following new moons. So this Discardia lasts from March 19th until April 5th.

According to Dinah,
"Discardia is celebrated by getting rid of stuff and ideas you no longer need. It's about letting go, abdicating from obligation and guilt, being true to the self you are now. Discardia is the time to get rid of things that no longer add value to your life, shed bad habits, let go of emotional baggage and generally lighten your load."
I am very fond of this holiday.

In honor of Purim and Discardia this year, I am combining three traditions, two old with one new.

One of the mitzvot (commandments) associated with Purim is Shalach Manot (which is literally the sending of portions but means the sending of gifts). It is said that one should send gifts of food and so, in many Orthodox communities tomorrow, you will see families hand delivering packages and baskets of food to one another. The requirement is that the food is ready to eat and that there are at least two servings. You should see some of the intensely creative ways this is carried out. There are baseball-themed shalach manot with peanuts, popcorn and soda in a baseball mitt or a pillowcase with chocolate chip cookies and milk.

The other mitzvah is matanot l'evyonim (sending gifts to the poor) and they must be generous gifts, none of this, "here's a quarter" crap. You must do both shalach manot and matanot l'evyonim on Purim.

On Discardia, getting rid of things, though not an obligation, since that sentiment in itself is anti-Discardian, it is, let's say, praiseworthy. In the spirit of these holidays, I plan on spreading some loving shalach manot and matanot l'evyonim around.
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Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

OK! Hamataschen all around!

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Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Lovin' the hamentaschen. Love the idea behind Discardia, but I'm just not strong enough. You never know when you're gonna need that tattered piece of foil wrapping paper the WMG brought home from school last year...

Blogger Terri said...

LOVE Discardia, big sigh, am working on that whole emotional purging thing.
I clicked on your Purim link, becasue I am in the midst of writing about Purim and hoped you would help. Am am struck, for the first time, how a Hamantaschen has the same shape as a uterus. HM, go figure.

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