Friday, March 15, 2019

Cooking for Two Weeks/Shabbatot, Purim in Shiloh

Ever since our house emptied of kids, and I've had jobs that kept me out in the evenings, or coming home without time to prepare dinner, my Shabbat cooking is for the week.

This week, we'll have very few regular evening meals, between my book club, a grandchild's birthday party and Purim. Here in Shiloh, Purim is a long two day holiday, a third day of food change if you count Ta'anit Ester, The Fast of Esther. We celebrate two days of Purim, so next Friday is also Purim, and Gd willing the kids and grandkids will be coming to eat a festive Purim Lunch. That doesn't leave me much time to prepare for the immediately following Shabbat.

So, I cooked a bit more than usual yesterday of chicken and moussaka/meatloaf (using ground turkey) and froze half of it.

This is in the freezer already, made in a double pan.

The two smaller containers are now frozen for next week. 

I'll have to find time to make side dishes before Shabbat, probably after the Thursday night's Megillah reading, which will be our third out of four.

Many people wonder why we in Shiloh have been instructed by the rabbis to celebrate both days. Other Biblical Cities, like Jerusalem only celebrate the second day, Shushan Purim. But even though we are in the same location, which is agreed by Biblical scholars and archeologists alike, the fact that for centuries Shiloh was deserted probably changes its status. Our local Chief Rabbi Elchanan Bin-Nun, in this year's Purim instructions has stated that although we still must celebrate both days and make the blessings only on the first, we should have strong kavana, spiritual intentions recognizing Shushan Purim as our Purim. Maybe in the near, or more certainly distant, future we in Shiloh will be instructed to drop the first day of Purim and only celebrate on Shushan Purim.

After decades of living in Shiloh, since 1981, we've gotten used to a Two Day Purim. It's certainly a lot easier than having two Pesach Passover S'darim. There are no travel restrictions on Purim, and one can be extremely creative in terms of menu. Having two days for the feast gives a lot of flexibility for family and friends. When we host, we have a choice of days, according to what our children prefer. The most difficult of the Purim logistics is making sure to hear the megillah four times.

Have a Truly Joyous Purim
Chag Purim Same'ach

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