Despite the raging snowstorm outside, the Jewish community in Sumy, Ukraine warmed themselves with a festive Seudas Purim prepared by the local Shluchim Rabbi Yechiel S. and Rochi Levitansky with the theme of kibutz goliyos in Yerushalayim.
Flags from every country greeted the guests as they arrived in the shul building. The shluchim kinderlach welcomed everyone and happily washed all guests for hamotzi into a bowl decorated as a globe of the world. At the next station they gave matanos l’evyonim into two Yerushalmi hats and received their entrance ticket which also doubled as their ticket for the grand Purim raffle.
The hall was decorated as Yerushalayim with the kosel in the front and a 3D Beis hamikdash coming down on a cloud. Every table was dressed as a different country arriving in Yerushalayim. On each chair was a costume to match the country of that table, thus ensuring that every participant felt part of the Purim spirit. Before the Megillah was read by Rabbi Levitansky who was dressed as a Yerushalmi, everyone switched Mishloach Monos Kosel boxes- thus fulfilling all the four mitzvos of the day.
The Seudah served was Israeli and Yerushalmi style foods including pita, falafel, chumus, techina, chatzilim, Israeli salad, yerushalmi kugel, Shwarma, Israeli couscous etc. but what really made the evening amazing was the message of the theme incredibly brought across by an entertainer leading the event through fun , games, competitions and laughter. Every country had a game/contest that demonstrated their preparation for Moshiach. The Spirit of Purim was tangible! and chassidus was flying through the air!!
The highlight of the day was the performance by the Ohr Avner Kindergarten. The community lovingly clapped and sang along as the adorable kids entertained and danced the story of Purim and received a standing ovation! The ‘sand of Eretz Yisroel’ was brought in with a magnificent sand art show creatively depicting the story of Purim. The kids thoroughly enjoyed trying their own sand art drawings too.
The feeling of happiness, community, joy and laughter was felt as participants were volunteered in different games, competitions and fun. A comedy skit was performed by the Kolel Torah, which sent the crowd into fits of laughter and a violinist played Nigunim about Purim and Moshiach. The Rabbi and his sons danced the yearly/much awaited hop cossack dance and the evening ended on a high with the song L’eshana Habaa beYerushalayim.