Posts Tagged ‘Purim’

An oldie

Monday, 21 March 2011

I came across an extended version of a classic joke in one of the books I’m reading, and had to share it with you:

In one such school the teacher asked the question, “Who knocked down the walls of Jericho?”, after a pause Billy Falla put his hand up and said;

“Please Miss it wasn’t me.”

The teacher, outraged by the ignorance shown in the answer given, and the low standard in general, went to the head master to complain.

She said, I just asked the class who knocked down the walls of Jericho, and Billy Falla said, please Miss it wasn’t me. The headmaster thought about this a moment and then said, “Well! I have know the Falla family for many many years, and if little Billy said it wasn’t him, then it wasn’t him.” This left her flabbergasted, so that night from her home she wrote a letter of complaint to the States Education Council, which went as follows:-

This morning I asked my class the question who knocked down the walls of Jericho and Billy Falla said; ‘Please Miss it wasn’t me!’ I complained to the headmaster who informed me that he had known the Falla family for many many years and if Billy said it wasn’t him then it wasn’t him.

Some weeks later she received a reply from the States Education Council, saying “We have given careful consideration to your letter and have decided that to avoid any further bad feeling, if you would go ahead and get the wall repaired we will pay the bill”!!

It’s Purim, so I doubt I’ll have time for another post today, but have a good one, all! This is from Donkey’s Ears Apart by George Torode, pp 64-66.

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No sew baby panda costume

Sunday, 20 March 2011

panda baby 022Hm, I think this panda costume worked better in my head than so far in reality, but hopefully it’ll look good tomorrow, out and about on Shushan Purim day. For one thing, I hadn’t realised just how much too small DD’s white hat is these days…

Still, it meets my criteria for a baby costume of:

  1. Being as comfortable as her normal clothes to wear and put on/take off
  2. Not making anything in good condition unwearable other than as fancy dress
  3. Being cheap, quick and easy to make

So, just in case anyone out there thinks this is an idea they’d like to improve upon 😉 here’s how I did it.

panda baby 001First, you’ll need a white hat and one-piece outfit that both fit the baby, and a pair of opaque black women’s tights. (These last are going to be cut up, so this is how to use up any with holes or runs that mean you can’t wear them any longer. If they’re in particularly bad shape you might need to choose parts from more than one pair.) You’ll also need a small sheet of card and some small safety pins. Tools needed are scissors, a glass and a pen/pencil.

panda baby 003The feet ends of the tights will go over baby’s legs, so measure generously and cut these off. (You can trim later if they’re really too long.) Cut another small piece from each tights leg for the ears, then the remainder will make the black part of the costume body. I forgot to take pictures of these parts but basically you need a large hole in the tights where the two legs join. This will go over baby’s head, with the legs as sleeves.

panda baby 024

panda baby 005To make the ears, cut two appropriately sized circles out of thin card (I found the base of a small glass was a good size), fold each in half and cover with the small pieces of tights leg you cut earlier.

panda baby 015Use the safety pins to carefully attach the ears to the hat at the seams, so that the metal doesn’t touch baby. This is where I’d really recommend sewing, especially since a hat with ears is cute even when not in fancy dress. In that case you wouldn’t want card stiffening, however, as it’s not washable. Still, this way certainly does work.

panda baby 019This is the longest stretch of metal I could find inside the hat, and I’m probably going to redo that pin.

And that’s it. Now just place it all on the baby. There’s enough friction in tights material that you probably don’t actually need to attach the legs to the main outfit, but if your baby’s already crawling and pulling them up is getting annoying a couple of carefully placed safety pins would probably work there too.

Good beginnings!

Monday, 1 March 2010

It’s Shushan Purim today, so I was either going to have to post early or late. I don’t think anyone will mind having the first instruction of the mystery pattern up early in the day, will they?

UK: 1. Ch 22 in A, and 21 dc back (or 21 fdc). Turn.

US: 1. Ch 22 in A, and 21 sc back (or 21 fsc). Turn.

Don’t forget to use one terminology consistently, and to look on the pattern page for the complete (so far) instructions. There is now a pattern page on Ravelry too, to which to link your projects.

Appropriately Timed

Friday, 26 February 2010

So at least I’m going to talk about one book at the right time! One of the ones we got yesterday was Purim and the Persian Empire: A Historical, Archaeological, & Geographical Perspective by Rabbi Yehuda Landy. (Purim, for those who don’t know, is celebrated in most of the world this coming Sunday, but in Jerusalem on Monday.) I haven’t yet had the chance to do more than skim through the pictures and a couple of their captions, but it looks like it’s going to live up to the title. It’s beautifully laid out, with fabulous photos from museums around the world, as well as archaeological sites in what was the Persian Empire.

I expect to be reading this over Shabbat, and if the text lives up to the quality of the production values, I’ll learn a lot more about Jewish and world history of the time. The book even has the megilla (plus translation) in a nice large clear font at the back, so I might well take this to shul if I haven’t finished reading it by then. (I like to arrive with enough time to get settled before the actual reading starts.)

Pensive on Purim

Friday, 21 March 2008

Purim is a time for fun, for dressing up and giving gifts (food to friends and charity/tzedaka to those in need), but it’s also a good time to reflect, to turn things over in one’s head, rather than just upside-down.

Reading the Book of Esther so soon after Parshas Zachor, and when I’ve been reading so much about the Holocaust (and other wars), and considering the ongoing and renewed conflicts across the world makes me think of how our lives can be overturned in an instant, and about how Yom Kippur is often glossed as Yom Ke-Purim, a day like Purim.

82. Trench Art by Nicholas J. Saunders

Simple evidence that whenever they can people will try to personalise, beautify the objects they use, perhaps more than ever in the the dehumanising atmosphere of front line war. (I actually read this yesterday, but didn’t get to blog it.)

83. Animal Groups: Life in a School: Dolphins by Richard & Louise Spilsbury

If even dolphins can regularly make the effort to help lift the weaker members of their school to the surface to breathe, what possible excuse do we as humans have for not caring for each other?

84. Hitler’s Forgotten Victims: The Holocaust and the Disabled by Suzanne E. Evans

And this is the book that has been overshadowing my mind for the last few days. I don’t even know what the most horrific part of this ‘programme’ was. I don’t even want to list the options, as it makes me feel sick to describe these disgusting ‘doctors’ who lost any vestige of humanity in their disregard for non-‘useful’ people and their leadership of the kind of ‘mercy’ killings such as starvation, gassing, botched sterilisations, experimentation and far more.

It’s not as if I didn’t know that anyone outside Aryan ideals was in severe danger in Nazi Germany/occupied Europe, but I hadn’t realised the extent of the systematic murder of hundreds of thousands of disabled people. Nor had I realised that the infamous experimenting and eugenic-obsessed ‘doctors’ like Mengele weren’t (apparently) rare aberrations, but a very significant proportion of influential medical leaders of the time and place.

So I’m sickened, and overnight I need to get back my joy in Purim and remember its message, that those who persecute will be overthrown, and in the end those of us considered lesser and worthy of extermination will survive and outlast our persecutors and their cultures. The Divine orchestration may be incomprehensible to us, but it will be worked out.