Serious fun: Temple Bat Yam’s Purim in the powder |

Serious fun: Temple Bat Yam’s Purim in the powder

Rabbi Evon J. Yakar
Temple Bat Yam


What: Purim in the Powder

When: 8:15 a..m.-3:30 p.m. Sunday

Web: Details at

So many Jewish holidays take on a serious tone. There is a serious side to much of the celebrations and observances. Yet, there are a few that bring out the comedians, the joy and well, the shenanigans!

Near the beginning of spring each year, Jews around the world celebrate the holiday of Purim. The day celebrates the heroine Esther, from the Biblical book of Esther, her uncle Mordechai and Jewish survival. The day comes with many traditions including sending gifts to our neighbors, merrymaking, a scriptur reading and general celebration. The history of the day reminds us of how the Jewish people were almost annihilated by an evil advisor, Haman, to the Persian King Ahasheuras. In the end, Esther, the Jewish queen, reveals her previously hidden Jewish identity to the king and convinces him to reverse Haman’s decree — saving her people, the Jews.

To honor and remember Esther’s balancing act between assimilation and “fitting in” and her courageous revealing of her identity, many Jewish people dress in costumes. It is a day that we consider the differences of the evil Haman and the righteous Mordechai, sometimes in a serious tone and others with outlandish comparisons and with jokes.

At Temple Bat Yam, the South Shore and Carson Valley’s Jewish community of more than 30 years, we celebrate this day in true Tahoe style. The skiers and snowboarders in our community spend the weeks preceding the holiday collecting pledges and commit to skiing or riding 18 runs together as a group. During Purim in the Powder, March 16 this year, we hit the slopes at Heavenly Mountain Resort for a morning of skiing — yes, some in costume — and then return to the Temple for a barbecue and Purim Celebration. his event has proved to be a great fun and fundraiser for Temple Bat Yam. Anyone is welcome to join in the fun, as a skier/rider, a sponsor or volunteer. All the information is available on our website: We look forward to having you join in the fun!

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