It’s Megillah Man!

It’s Megillah Man!

It is the most wonderful time of year. The time of year when our community becomes friendly. The time of year when Husband #1 shines and becomes our favorite superhero, “Megillah Man.” Yes, I have written about Megillah Man many times before. How many times before? I do not have a specific recollection. This year marks the 11th year that I have been writing this column, and seven of those years have been for this wonderful paper. So, we will assume that I have written about Megillah Man for at least six of those 11 years.

For those of you who do not recall who Megillah Man is, he is the superhero of Purim. He can read the Megillah in less than 15 minutes. He can read the Megillah for anyone who needs it at a moment’s notice. And he loves doing it. One year, he had a kidney stone. He spent the entire afternoon in the hospital (it was a shabbos) and when he came home from the hospital, he read the Megillah for his doctor. True story!

Megillah Man was born on Purim 54 years ago, in the city of Grand Rapids in the great state of Michigan.  His bar mitzvah is still recalled fondly by members of the Monsey community who were privileged to attend. It was at this celebration that he first became Megillah Man. In 1995, Megillah Man read a 14-minute Megillah, which was documented by his future wife; he was reading the Megillah for his future brother-in-law, who had been in the hospital recovering from surgery.

Everyone is good at something, and Megillah Man is excellent at reading the Megillah.

There were the years when Megillah Man would read the Megillah, surrounded by his adorable little boys. Those little boys were very proud of their father. Then those little boys grew bigger, then taller, and now none of them are home to hear Megillah Man read the Megillah. They are still proud of him, just not proud enough to come back to hear their father read the Megillah. (Wait. Was that a passive aggressive comment?)

Purim is one of those holidays that means different things to different people. I have fond memories of the years that I would dress up in elementary school. For some reason, I often went as a “shaloch manot.” This would mean that I wore a shopping bag with candy taped to it. Now did I go in this costume because it was the only costume that would fit me? I have no idea, but being able to eat candy during class probably made me very happy.

As for being a boymom at Purim time, there were few things easier. Baseball players, football players, hockey players…easy-peasy. All we had to do was pick which sport, go to the garage for the appropriate equipment, and find some jerseys. But I do have pictures of Son #2 dressing up as a little girl for Purim. He wore a blonde wig and a Disney-themed nightgown. Ahh, the irony that my boys have girls now is not lost on any of us.

Now my boys are in charge of their own costumes. Son #2 and Danish are going as astronauts. As for my other sons, I have not been privy to their costume plans, but I am sure they will be adorable. Husband #1 never wears a costume, because Megillah Man does not need one. As for me, I enjoy dressing up as an overweight middle-aged housewife. Amazon has lots of choices for that character. I am kidding, I think. Though now I really want to go on Amazon and type that in and see what comes up. Will it be a picture of me? Doubtful.

Purim is supposed to be a celebration, when evil was obliterated, when the Jews were saved…it is hard to believe that there are still those being held captive, that there are still soldiers putting their lives on the line for the Land of Israel. These holidays are taking on a whole new meaning. So in wishing Megillah Man a happy and healthy birthday, let us all also pray that the hostages will be returned home to celebrate with their families and that there will only be peace and joy….

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is grateful to new family for including her and Megillah Man in their Purim celebration!

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