Last night, we went to the first Megillah (Book of Esther) reading. I had my lovely leather-covered Megillah, printed with large "STAM" (the type of lettering used for scrolls) print and it's a pleasure to use. Jonathan was to use his megillah scroll (handwritten on parchment). One of these years, he says he wants to buy me one, but I'm not so sure about it. I don't know how to leyn and it would look...prideful to use a scroll where no other woman does. On the other hand, it would be so very nice... It would also be a few hundred dollars. I took it with me, and handed it to our friend Menachem so that Jonathan could get it without having to go to the women's side.
It was crowded - so crowded that I never did find a seat. I leaned against a pillar, using my keys as a grogger when the name "Haman" was said. And halfway through, I realized I hadn't turned the flame off from under my lamb shank braise. Oops. And I couldn't leave.
When the reading was over and the evening service concluded, everyone else crowded around the tables on the women's side to break their fast. Since I hadn't fasted and that many people are difficult for me, I escaped to the men's side and found both Jonathan and a seat. We got our synagogue's shlach manot package (this year, a lovely square ceramic bowl filled with the usual nosh) and the list of people who paid for their name on the list and did some schmoozing and then we left for dinner at our favorite dairy Italian place. Cheese ravioli in sage butter sauce - oh, so good.
And when we got home, the stew smelled wonderful and *NOT* burnt. So I shut off the stove, poured in a cup of water and put the pot in the fridge. This will be dinner tonight.
We got up at 6:15 this morning (so not morning people.) I added the bread and kugel to the shlach manot boxes I'd started last night and we took three of them with us and got to shul around 7AM. I wore my Pakua uniform with a long denim skirt as both costume and practicality. See, right after the leining, I handed my husband my megillah and shouldered my back pack and took a bus to Pakua, where I gave some shlach manot to Master Eric, who is Jewish. Had a lovely and complete workout, went home, showered, put on nice clothes and had the required seuda (festive meal.) I supplied a big kugel for that. Jonathan told me he gave tzedaka for the poor at synagogue, so that's taken care of. We also gave packages to friends and my landlady.
Right after I got home from the seuda, I put chicken in the oven that will be tomorrow's lunch. I need a nap.