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Purim is biiiiig by us. You know we’re Moroccan, and when it comes to food, Moroccans just have to go over the top
Thursday, March 09, 2017
"O y! What will we do for Purim?!” Ima wondered. “I have to go look after Saba in Be’er Sheva for a week. But who will organize Purim, all the mishloach manot and the invitations to our Purim seudah?!”
My ears perked up.
“Ima, don’t worry! I’m big enough to organize it all and the rest of the kids will help me.”
Ima looked at me doubtfully.
“Yosef Chaim, are you sure? It’s a lot of work, you have to make up all the mishloach manot and deliver them to the right addresses, and write out and send the invitations to the right addresses too.”
You have to understand — Purim is biiiiig by us. You know we’re Moroccan, and when it comes to food, Moroccans just have to go over the top. We can’t just send a few mishloach manot to a few neighbors and our rabbanim, and we’re done. No, we make up a million packages (actually around 50) and hand them out to practically the whole town! And our seudah… well, when my Ima cooks, she really cooks, and there is enough food at our Purim seudah to feed most of the town, too. And we don’t just call people to invite them; we send out fancy invites in the mail.
In the end Ima didn’t have much choice. But you can be sure she didn’t leave for Be’er Sheva until she had issued me a million instructions and handed me a million lists.
Once Abba and I did the big Purim supermarket delivery, we just had to send out the invitations and make up the mishloach manot. Ima had already arranged for our special Purim seudah invites to be printed, and as soon as Abba brought them home, I sat down at the dining table to write them out. Not such a big deal, really. Ten invites — Dod Dafyd and Doda Zahava, Abba’s closest talmidim Reb Noach and Reb Nachum, the old widow we help out sometimes, Geveret Sofer, two old friends of Ima and their families, our cousins Yitzchak and Moshe from Kiryat Shemoneh who are learning in Tzfat, and of course our neighbors and best friends the Cohens. Soon I had all the envelopes addressed and ready to be mailed. The next morning Abba took them to the post office.
The week went by fast and soon it was time for mishloach manot.
“Okay, everyone!” I called. “Mishloach manot!”
All the kids, who always disappear when there’s any work to be done, miraculously appeared immediately. Making up the mishloach manot is great fun. We do it like a factory production line. We all sit on the floor in a big long line, and each kid has a different job. And the best fun is that there’re always some goodies left over, so we can enjoy an early Purim!
While we were enjoying the goodies, the doorbell rang. I ran to answer… (excerpted)
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