I love the HDS Talent Show.  That’s why, for the second year, I have (with help) produced, directed, stage-managed, choreographed, audio-edited, and performed in the show.  I am so enamored with the evening because it always lives up to its name to help us “Be Happy, It’s Adar.”

By now, the students have all learned that the reason joy increases in the month of Adar is because of the miracle of Purim.  We celebrate how Queen Esther revealed herself as a Jew and saved the Jewish people from a planned genocide, which was scheduled at random for the month of Adar.  We celebrate the joy of life with silliness, as well as being our true selves and encouraging others to do the same.

The talent show is the perfect embodiment of the spirit of Adar.  It is full of silliness, like 5th grader Eliana Adler’s perennial Animal Noises and ganster Eli Olson’s delightfully punny jokes.  In addition, the joy of the talent show comes from students doing what they really love.  We saw gymnastics, singing, dancing, song-writing, puppetry, and musical instruments of all kinds represented.  These varied passions are representative of the creativity and individuality of HDS students.  Just as Queen Esther was uniquely important to Jews of Shushan, each child showed us last night why they are special and integral to our school community.

Part of the Purim story is about doing things that are hard, and performing in front of your peers can be scary.  It took hard work and preparation for some students to simply step on the stage.  Those students who performed in a group (and their parents) had the extra challenge of collaboration.  Luckily, the students knew that they had a supportive audience in front of them.  Every person not on the stage was helping the next generation of Jewish leaders not only survive, but thrive.  This is a hugely important role; even Queen Esther needed the support of her Uncle Mordechai to approach the king about saving the Jewish people.

Throughout Jewish history, we have celebrated the leaders and teachers who guide our people.  And so, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the true joy of working with the incredible HDS staff to create our own silly routine.  This group of individuals, who work way more than just 8-3:30 for their students, practiced during their after-school and lunch times because they knew it would bring smiles to everyone’s faces.  Just like the student performers, we had to work as a team and support one another to make the act work.  We also laughed a lot as we rehearsed and performed.  I know that I am not alone in my gratitude for these role models, who are prime examples of the loving, respectful, hard-working, thoughtful, and fun individuals we know our students will grow up to be.

Sometimes, we need a holiday like Purim and an event like the talent show to remind us of the joy of being ourselves and being Jewish.  I’m so happy that it’s Adar!