Friday, March 9, 2012

A Short Conversation with the Command Chaplain

Sir, it’s possible that in the coming days you will hear reports of me dressed as a panda.  It’s possible there will be a picture in the OkiMar or Stars and Stripes.

A panda?

Yes, sir. A panda.

A panda?  The bear?

Yes, sir.  The black and white variety.

Were you dressed as a panda?

Yes, sir.  A panda with a red bow tie.

Why were you dressed as a panda with a red bow tie?

Religious observance, sir.

Religious observance?

Yes, sir.  Purim.

Purim?  Yes.  I saw the flier about it.  How did it go?

Pretty well, sir.  We had a turn out of about about 25-30 including kids.  Leora made hamentashen in the kitchen with most of the kids and some of the parents.  The megillah – the scroll from which we read the Book of Esther - came from California on time, and now we have a megillah on island for good.  And the shpiel went really well.


Yes, sir.  In our case it was a dramatic retelling of the story of Esther with brief pauses for classic Purim songs like “Once There was a Wicked, Wicked Man” and “In Shu- Shu- Shushan Long Ago (to the tune of Polly Wolly Doodle)”.  We also brought in clips from “Old Jews Telling Jokes”.

Old Jews Telling Jokes?

Yes, sir.  It’s awesome.

What kind of jokes?

They tell all sorts of jokes – some are inappropriate to the setting, but really funny (see: “The Confession”) – but they’re mostly Borscht Belt kind of jokes that you would expect old Jewish people to say.  I find them to be highly entertaining.

Would I find them funny?

It’s worth looking into, sir.

I’m sorry, why were you dressed as a panda?

Because it was Purim, sir.

Do all Jews dress up like Pandas?

Oh, no, sir.   Some dress up like characters in the Purim story, some dress up like it was Halloween without the ghouly aspects.  Leora dressed like a 1950s housewife; I dressed up like a panda.

A panda.

Yes, sir. A panda.

Very well.  Happy Purim.

Happy Purim, sir.


  1. Love it! I can just see the look of puzzlement on his face. BTW, my mom asked me to let you know that she really likes the blog! She liked Leora's cooking post last week, and trying to puzzle out the signs, too.