I returned from the Philippines just in time for every Jew’s favorite holiday. No, not Chanukah. Not Lag B’omer or Tu B’shvat, either. Last week was…drumroll, please…Purim! After several years of College Park Purim festivities (which are really no different from regular college weekend activities, except for the fact that everyone is dressed in costume and reading from the Megillah), I was worried that this year would be a letdown. Fear not, friends. Purim in Seoul is everything that you would expect and more.

The Talmud instructs us to become inebriated on Purim until he doesn’t know the difference between ‘cursed is Haman’ and ‘blessed is Mordechai.'”

And who would I be to ignore the teachings of the Talmud? I missed the first Megillah reading, but stayed through the second one. This was the first big event in the new Chabad house, and the place was packed. It cleared out a bit by the second Megillah reading, which meant my camera came out and started taking as many videos as possible.

Several bottles of whiskeys in, I daresay we got a bit ridiculous.

Here are some of the glorious, glorious videos from the night:

and


And lastly, no Purim would be complete without a rabbi pouring whiskey and orange juice down someone’s throat:

Among the costumes were Buddha, a couple ajummas, a cowgirl and an Arab. I dressed as the jungle–I wore a black and white-striped dress and a big necklace with animal prints on it. Not bad for the last minute, eh? However, the best costume of the night goes to the rabbi’s two-year-old daughter, Yehudit, who donned a yarmulke and had her pigtails curled to look like peyas. That’s right–Yehudit dressed up for Purim as an Orthodox Jewish boy. The rabbi posted a gallery of photos from the night. About halfway down the page is a picture of Yehudit and I–we’re pretty easy to spot.

Purim in Korea was much more exciting than I expected it to be, and I’m glad I shlepped all the way down to Itaewon for it. I’m already excited for next year. The question is, where will I be celebrating it?

Rabbi Litzman reading the Megillah with Mussy and Menachem looking on

Rabbi Litzman reading the Megillah with Mussy and Menachem looking on

Some drunk, dancing Jews

Some drunk, dancing Jews

Two ajummas

Two ajummas

Totally the best picture of the night

Totally the best picture of the night

Back in Maryland, Chabad had a very different function in my life. It was where my friends and I would go for dinner every few Friday nights. With hundreds of people going every night, there was rarely that small, intimate feeling at dinner. But here in Seoul, Chabad has become more of a second family than I ever imagined it being. I’ve met some truly great people there and have formed my Jewish circle outside of the SEV bubble, which was the best thing I’ve done for myself here.

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