RANCHO SANTA FE — After a rainy and blustery Saturday, Sunday Feb. 28 turned into a gorgeous day and just perfect for celebrating Purim at the Ranch at the Helen Woodward Animal Center. About 100 members of the Chabad Jewish Center of Rancho Santa Fe celebrated country-style, Rabbi Levi Raskin and others wearing jeans and cowboy hats. The children wore a variety of costumes and had the opportunity to pet goats, sheep and ponies, courtesy of the animal center.
Purim is a joyous holiday that celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people from the evil Haman, a government minister who hated Jews and plotted to have them obliterated. Because of the influence of Queen Esther, the Jews were saved and Haman hanged for his deeds. The celebration is held on the 14th day of the 12th month on the Jewish calendar, and featured traditional food, crafts and prizes give for the best costume.
“The kids love this,” Raskin said.
The costumes were diverse. Samuel and Anaya Mirsky donned garb worn at the time of the original event. Jordan and Jacob Pearson were dressed as royalty and Ofea Arbib wore a colorful jester’s hat. Little Mendy Smoller, perhaps making his own statement, wore a San Diego Charger’s helmet and jersey No. 21 for recently released San Diego Chargers player LaDainIan Tomlinson.
After petting animals and enjoying a meal, the students from the Rancho Santa Fe Hebrew School performed in a play and the there were readings from the Megillah.