I hadn’t known what to expect from my first Purim in Crown Heights. I was unsure about where I would be comfortable hearing the Megillah, and when I received Nightlife’s flier about their Purim night event, I got to wondering about whether I would actually be entertained by the game of “Simon Sez” that they were advertising. I need not have worried at all.
More pictures in the Extended Article!
When I rushed into the Rubashkin home and down the stairs to the Nightlife Lounge, I found a room filled with young women and dozens of rows of chairs, with Nightlife organizers quickly bringing out and unfolding more to accommodate a steady flow of new arrivals. Girls milled around wishing one another “A freilechen Purim.” Funny hats and full costumes spiced up the crowd. I had walked into Purim.
Among us were a pair of clowns in inflated plastic suits, a sorority of well-wrapped Middle Easterners, a bundled up Babushka, a pink visitor from the fifties and a wannabe Bais Rivkah student wearing her old uniform. We had Rabbi Yehuda Dukes to provide an exclusive Megillah reading. We had a spacious room and Megillahs for all. We were set.
My first concern resolved by a superb Megillah reading and my stomach satisfied by a delicious and healthy break-fast meal, I took a seat for the next part of the program.
First, a fellow Nightlife-goer shared an inspired Dvar Torah. I pocketed it, knowing that its message would be a bit of Purim that I could take with me throughout the year. Then, Paul Krohn, a.k.a. “Simon Sez” took the stage.
“I do what I love and I love what I do,” he told us. No wonder. He spent the evening making us laugh, making fools out of us and making us laugh some more.
His trademark fast-paced and unpredictable Simon Sez game kept us competing. He promised one thousand dollars – five thousand were on the table in cold cash – to anyone who could stay in a solo game with him for over a minute. We were ambitious. Some of us came pretty close. All anybody won, though, was side-splitting, Purim befitting hysteria.
Entertained I was. And then the real fun began. The chairs were cleared and the music turned on, and we filled the dance floor.
We danced together and separately. We jumped, clapped and sang with the music, letting it weave Simchas Purim throughout and within us. So our Purim night escalated until we dispersed as better friends, inspired, exhausted and invigorated.
Thank you, organizers and sponsors of Nightlife. You took my Purim to a whole new level of Achdus and joy. I’m looking forward to joining you for the next special evening that you are sure to transform.
To join our contact list and to stay Nightlife informed email CrownHeightsNightlife@gmail.com.
Check out www.CHnightlife.wordpress.com for more info and photos.
Nightlife is sponsored in part by the CHJCC