Saturday, March 26, 2005

Purim in Houston

Spending a holiday away from home is always an odd experience, but this was the first time I've spent a holiday where I knew absolutely no one. Since we've stayed here before, three weeks ago, we had some people to give Mishloach Manot to, but we didn't know local customs, habits, etc. It's been the least Purim-dik Purim I've ever had, and I never want to be away from home on Purim again. Our kids were all over the Israeli map for the holiday--the girls even got a chance to drop Batya a package (I don't even know what they sent, since the kids made it; I've been away from home all month).

The one relaxing thing about being on the road is that I'm away from news of Israel. I still read Rotter whenever I go online, but the intense everyday aspect of being Israeli is missing. I don't check my kids' clothing in the morning and wonder if their color choices can get them in trouble like Rav Ronski's son got into. I don't have to start thinking yet about my kids and this summer--how much will I let them go to Chomesh, a yishuv I fell in love with this past Sukkot, will I let them participate in the protests against dragging people from their homes for no good reason. It's a vacation from reality, a break from responsibility, time out of time, a second and third childhood. But it ends a week from Monday, and I think I'll be ready to dive into Pesach prep and into politics. By then I'll once again be hungry for life.

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