Characters from across the country celebrated the Jewish holiday of Purim on Feb. 28. In Monroe, the Chabad of Orange County, led by Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, hosted a party at the American Legion Banquet Hall. It was a hero-themed party with a buffet dinner. Costumes were the order of the day, but with or without, there was entertainment, raffles, prizes, and a masquerade.

The party featured  the “Fantastic Four” Mitzvot (commandments) of Purim:

1. Megillah, the reading from the Scroll of Esther chronicling the Purim story of Jewish superheroes Mordechai and Esther’s victory over villain Haman’s plot to annihilate the Jewish people.

2. Mishloach Manot, gifts of food to be exchanged.

3: Matanot L’evyomin - Charity for the needy; and

4: “Mishteh” - Festive Feast.

“We can all be superheroes,” said Rabbi Pesach in welcoming the guests. “One doesn’t need a cape or special powers to be a hero. Anyone who lends a hand to another can be their superhero.”

Coming up

• The 60th anniversary of the Mid-Hudson Branch 229 of the Fleet Reserve Association will be celebrated today at the Colden Manor at Spruce Lodge in Coldenham with dinner at 1 p.m. Shipman Norman Sivertsen has been busy with the details. Reservations are required, but just in case you forgot, give Norm a call at 778-5181 before noon to see if there are cancellations.

• The Goshen Art League will welcome new members with an exhibit in the Goshen Music Hall, 223 Main St. in Goshen. A reception, free and open to the public, is offered from 6-8 p.m. Thursday. Viewing hours will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday through May 24.

• A Maple Tour and Sugarbush Walk with 4H Hayraisers will be at 2 p.m Sunday at the Catskill Mountain Sugar House in Grahamsville. The tour will be followed by a short snowshoe or hike, depending on conditions, around the 800-acre mountain-top farm. This outing is geared for families. Reservations are required by Saturday by calling 439-5507 or emailing info@morgan-outdoors.com. Snowshoe rentals are $5. Driving instructions will be given when reservations are made.

Where was Barbara?

Disney World! It’s a magical place where just about anything back home can be put aside while you are visiting. To share the magic with a 7-year-old who filled two autograph books with all the princesses and Mickey and friends, was super! And to have her dad along, my oldest son, who is a great navigator, was extra special. He planned the trip almost a year ago and took care of just about everything, even updates.

It couldn’t have been better. When you wear the wrist band “passes” you can theme-park hop and take advantage of so many things like the fast pass lane (the long lines can be tiring), all meals (almost like having a personal chef), even photos (so you can leave the camera home). What luxury! And when your room has a balcony where you can sit and enjoy a sunset or view the daily fireworks, what more could you ask for?

An extra bonus, March through mid-April, is the 25th anniversary of Epcot’s International Flower Show, and it is beautiful! Each garden and topiary has been placed to perfection. The array of colors couldn’t have been more dazzling. To see it all, and we did, we must have walked 47 miles. Or more. But it wasn’t a bother. There was too much to see and enjoy. It was crowded and unseasonably cool for several days, but the people were friendly and polite, and children were well-behaved.

The trip was fun and energizing. Still, there’s no place like home. I’m glad to be back, although a little less winter would be more appealing. Spring is just days away. I have new great grandbabies to meet, and deadlines to keep. How sweet it is!
 
Barbara Bedell’s column appears daily. She can be reached at 346-3125 or by email: bbedell@th-record.com.