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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Lunatics running the asylum

The two weeks leading up to the Jewish holiday of Purim are always fun to watch.

During this festive fortnight of pre-holiday preparation, Israeli schoolkids, who on the best of days are somewhat less than deferential towards their teachers, drop the last pretense of decorum and let it all hang out!

In my kid's school, this period is celebrated with skits and songs lampooning teachers and school administrators (just imagine how far the kids go when on normal days they call the teachers by their first names!)... strange and creative modes of dress... and of course a complete moratorium on the assigning or completing of homework. 

In addition, many of the teachers have instituted special 'rules' to capture what little remains of their charges attention.  For instance, my daughter's teacher promised to buy a cake for the class each time her cell phone rang this week during class.  Needless to say, many parents were recruited to place a well-timed call... resulting in a cake a week for the foreseeable future!

Every free moment during the children's day seems to be spent breathlessly discussing costumes and Purim plans with their friends... and the community e-mail list has been abuzz with panicked requests for an incredible array of odd accessories needed to complete purim costumes (e.g. light saber, bunny ears, fedora hat, clown shoes, wedding gown, tiara... you get the idea).

Even the folks at work have gotten into the spirit.  Today, as I briefed a military attache from a medium-sized Asian country, my secretary served Oznei Haman (Hamentashen) cookies with the coffee. 

Somewhere along the line this officer had been told a little about the upcoming holiday and he asked a question about the cookies.  This prompted a lively discussion about a political struggle in ancient Persia... with an Asian attache... who had come to be briefed on a piece of Israeli military technology.

Yes, on many levels the lunatics really seem to be running the asylum.

[crossblogged on Isreality]


Posted by David Bogner on March 22, 2005 | Permalink


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Sounds like a hell of a lot of fun. Wish my school would have been like that.

Posted by: Jack | Mar 22, 2005 4:25:33 PM

The people I work with have no clue what Purim is (of course)...can't wait to move to Israel and LIVE the holidays.

Posted by: Essie | Mar 22, 2005 5:50:39 PM

Mah nishtaneh halaya ha zeh.....

Oh! I know it's the WRONG holiday... and YET! it feels so WILDLY appropriate! =:-)

Posted by: zahava | Mar 22, 2005 5:52:12 PM

Mah nishtaneh halaya ha zeh....

I walk around the office saying Mah nishtaneh Hayom ha zeh, but no one here appreciates that.

Posted by: Jack | Mar 22, 2005 6:03:23 PM

Jack... Oh yes, I hope it didn't sound like I was complaining... it's loads of fun!!! It just turns my head around sometimes at how holidays here are such a part of the country's social fabric instead of just a bunch of religious people going through the motions.

Essie... You have no idea. For all the problems with life in Israel (and there are many), these wonderful little things sneak up on you and make it all worth while.

Zahava... true... but if you're going to conjure up Passover stuff, just make sure it is only from the end of the hagaddah when people are half in the bag and singing those strange songs about 'one little goat that father bought...'

Jack... Go figure.

Posted by: David | Mar 22, 2005 7:15:09 PM

Sounds wacky. Wishes for a Purim sameach from the Beans to the Bogners.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Mar 22, 2005 8:31:36 PM

I'm putting in my order (in case you forget) to have pics of the kids in their costumes, please! (anything to get you to post some current pics of my niece and nephews!)

Posted by: val | Mar 23, 2005 1:50:23 AM

I have my lightsaber and bunny ears all ready and waiting.

Posted by: Isaac B2 | Mar 23, 2005 7:05:52 AM

The Beans... Thanks and a very happy Purim to you as well.

Val... I'll see what I can do. :-)

Isaac B2... I'm trying very hard to erase that mental image. :-)

Posted by: David | Mar 23, 2005 10:50:15 AM

Lunatics running the asylum

strange...i used to think that on a daily basis. about my company, though (whose name i better not mention).

Let there be much wine, Purim Sameach!

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Mar 23, 2005 2:32:31 PM

Happy Purim to All!
Hag Purim Same'ach le'kulam.

Posted by: Gadi | Mar 23, 2005 3:53:48 PM

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