While buying some items in a little all-purpose store across the street from the outdoor market of Jerusalem, I heard, “Come here, Rachel. There is a strawberry costume you might like.”
As I worked my way to the back, I saw a mother helping her daughter try on that berry costume.
I said, “Wear it in good health” in Hebrew. The mother gave me a lovely smile.
That store, not a costume store at all, offered skeletons, pirates, Maccabees and other options for Purim in Israel.
It was nostalgic for me because I remembered when my wife, Rita, and I bought costumes with our children, more than 30 years ago. Back then, there were a lot of cowboys, princesses, soccer players and others.
The stream of costuming is what makes Purim so much fun.
This year the most desirable outfit for girls seems to be Wonder Woman.
Israeli actress Gal Gadot has overwhelmed the world with her depiction of the title Amazon warrior in the “Wonder Woman” movie.
One editor I know well said last year when the movie hit its peak: “Gal Gadot is the best representative of Israel in the world. She should be involved in the peace negotiations.”
Every time I see her on TV, it makes me think: What did I do with my old comic books?
Captain America costumes have been sweeping the boys’ choices because of his strength (of course exaggerated) and his dedication to the United States of America.
Maybe we need a Captain Waze or a Captain Mobileye. Those technologies are sweeping the world, but most people have no idea that Israelis created them so that the entire universe could be better served.
Surely there are other costumes in the stores.
The special combat teams in the Israeli army provide for many types of costumes with special berets to maximize their authenticity. Little girls may be angels, butterflies, princesses and nurses. Older girls — preteens and teens — wear costumes with cleavage.
Israel is not different from the rest of the world, but Israelis go with the flow and costume as the younger and older women on the streets.
This year there is an overabundance of Haredi black suits with long, overflowing white beards. Because of the government turmoil with that group, I would have thought it would be problematic to dress like them.
But the costume makers know their business, so Haredi wear is out there for sale.
Some Donald Trump rubber masks are being sold, and because of the criminal accusations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, maybe Netanyahu heads will be sold as well.
One great buy this year is Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife. Her visibility on the Israeli public stage makes her a good feminist costume treat.
In costume catalogs a few Esthers and Mordechais can be found, but they are sold the least. Four-and 5-year-olds might wear them.
Haman and the king do not seem to be found anywhere, even in the most traditional neighborhoods.
Since the 1930s, here in our land, Jews and then Israelis have made Purim a time to throw out the real and enjoy what makes you happy. Be it drinking, dressing up, making noise with groggers, or cheering the heroes and heroine of the saga, Israelis let it all out.
This year, I assume Purim will be rowdier because our people here have a lot to forget. That is why Israelis can celebrate Purim and Shushan Purim. Jerusalem and other places that observe Shushan Purim are close enough if people want to drive there to have fun for a second day.
I have a large, orange, rubber wig I found last year. At the Purim party where I live, I doubt that wearing it will give me any more status, but at least I will have costumed here in Jerusalem.