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The Purim Story

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You know it’s time to put away the Purim CDs when you send your child to his room to be punished and as he runs down the hall, he yells back at you, “You filthy Jew!”  While I am a grandchild of a Holocaust survivor and was at first horrified by my son’s words, I did discuss it with him after the fact, and he defended himself by saying, “But Mommy, that’s what Vashti said in the Purim story!”

The Purim Story…   Every child grew up with this CD – every child, that is, except for yours truly.  You see, my mother had (has?) an aversion to Jewish children’s CDs in general, so my siblings and I were somewhat deprived growing up.  Thus, listening to this CD with my kids was actually my first introduction to The Purim Story.  My husband couldn’t believe it; he had grown up with this CD as an integral part of his childhood.  As I giggled through the puns and funny moments, I realized what a treasure I had been missing out on.

For starters, the sound effects.  From the klip-klop of horses’ hooves to the scraping of chairs, listeners are immediately transported to Shushan, to the royal palace of Achashveirosh.  The underlying humor is engaging – names like “Mr. Tofes,” meaningless to my kids, were an enjoyable twist to me.  My personal favorite characters in this Purim tale are Achashverosh’s guards; they keep me laughing every time we listen.  The music is great – “Esther My Child” is a beautiful song, and my kids can be found chanting “Here comes Haman” randomly throughout the day.

To me, the most incredible aspect of this CD is the wealth of details involved in the storytelling, and the many Meforshim and Medrashim that made up this listening experience.  My son has been speaking about Belshatzar and Nevuchadnetzar as though every four year old should know about them, and my kids’ all-time favorite part is the poisonous snake doing the backstroke…

All I can say is, I am so pleased to have gotten ahold of this CD so early on in my motherhood career so that my children and I can enjoy listening to it together for many years to come.  And maybe I’ll invite my mother to join us for a listen – I think she might just appreciate this one!

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