Halloween is an unusual experience for me. Growing up in a religious home, I never really got to take part in it. Having its roots in Pagan traditions, Halloween fits nicely into the category of Avoda Zara, which can be roughly translated as foreign worship and is thus forbidden.
As a kid in Canada I was exposed to all the buildup surrounding the holiday (which came in the form of commercials on television and decorations everywhere) but none of the payoff, IE trick or treating.
That being said, Halloween was always a pretty fun night for me. My parents would buy candy to give to the trick-or-treaters. Some years they’d let me dress up to hand the candy out. So I got the fun of dressing up and seeing all the costumes plus the bonus of eating the left over candy.
After moving to Israel, Halloween was all but non-existent to me. In its place we had Purim. For the secular crowd Purim serves roughly the purpose as Halloween does here. It’s a fun night to dress up, get drunk and have a fun time. However, after experiencing Halloween as an adult I’ve found some notable differences.
First of all the general theme and tone are different. The theme of Purim is happiness. People dress up as things that they think are funny or lighthearted. In terms of costumes for girls they work roughly according to the same rule of thumb; Sexy fill-in-the-blank. The major difference is, you see a lot more sexy zombies, sexy vampires and sexy murder victims here. That’s because the theme of Halloween is the occult and death. Now I’m not passing judgement. Spooky stuff is fun too. I’m just making note.
Another difference is the lesson I think kids learn. Trick or treating is all about getting. You go door to door. You knock. You say trick or treat. And someone gives you candy.
Purim on the other hand is mostly about giving. Kids prepare little packages that contain snacks (mostly candy but a lot of parents force disgusting fruits and other healthy things in there as well). A big part of the day is spent going over to friends houses and dropping off the packages. Obviously it’s not totally altruistic. The kids end the day with a huge pile of candy (and fruit from those horrible horrible bastards). Agian, I’m not saying that Purim is better, but…. ah fuck it. Purim is better!
Anyways, I know you’re probably wondering why I called this post Halloween in Law School. The title has to do with things that happened this year. Unfortunately I have a bunch of papers that I’m procrastinating away so I gotta go.
I promise I’ll tell you about the law school stuff next time….