I'm sure this has been discussed abundantly online, but I'm interested in the bottom line. Why are Orthodox men meant to thank God everyday for not being made a woman, and why don't Orthodox women find this sentiment offensive?
Are the justifications for blessings expressing gratitude for not being a gentile or slave similar?
Mr. CL dragged me to a Megillah reading tonight for the first time in decades that I can remember . . . and I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually fun. Purim was something we never celebrated when I was growing up (along with everything else that we didn't celebrate) so there's no nostaligia factor for me. Mr. CL and I have taken the kids to purim carnivals at shuls the past, but they've always been really lame. Cold, grey, dreary, slushy Toronto winter Sundays spent awkwardly milling around some attempt at a carnival inside the party room of an oversized shul where we don't really know anyone and are just procrastinating figuring out what to with the kids once they get sick of the bouncy castle . . . .
Anyway, tonight's shul (a Conservative congregation - the Adath Israel for anyone in Toronto) did an excellent job with their family service. They had set up a power point of all the events, so it was easy to follow what was happening (e.g. script/lyrics to Havdallah and songs were all up). (Are most shuls now getting so tech savvy, or is this shul just on the ball?) The crowd was very young, and laid back, and the service was very interactive. For example, they threw in polls where people texted in answers to trivia, and you could see the responses right away on screen. When it came to the reading, they played an illustrated abridged version of the events behind the reader . . . and I even found the editing around the narration of non-PG13 story elements amusing. My daughter lasted about 25 mins before I had to take her for a walk, and we peeked into the spread they had, which was also awesome - cotton candy, pop corn, chocolate hamentashen. fruit . . .and lots of it - and the event was free! So no, I didn't actually listen to/hear the whole megillah, but I was very much entertained, which IMO is more important anyway, :p! Tomorrow we're doing a carnival at the JCC and not our in laws OJ shul as we have in the past. We're meeting with new friends there, so maybe it won't totally suck . . . In any case, in the spirit of costumes and entertainment, here are some fun Deena Mann You Tube videos. Hope you are all having a fabulous holiday . . or weekend - wherever you are!!
Update: The JCC carnival didn't suck. When trying to figure out what made the difference, our final conclusion was that we just fit in/were more comfortable with the crowd there better. At the JCC we felt like part of the community participating in our community's event. At the OJ shul where Mr. CL's family goes and where we'd gone to the carnivals in the past, we felt like we were visitors in someone else's community . . . which we kind of were.