Snow on Purim? That Won’t Stop LCM
Though snow was falling outside, it was tropical indoors at LCM
Though this winter has been one of the coldest since 1934, it did nothing to dampen the high Purim spirits at Lander College for Men (LCM). While snowflakes fell furiously, blanketing the streets of Queens, LCM guys were heating up the dance floor as they celebrated their beach-luau-themed Purim as festively as ever.
The parties began even before the chag during Megillah Madness, where approximately twenty-five Lander students stayed up all night erev Taanis Esther to study masechta megillah with Rabbi Bamberger and Rabbi Marcus. And we mean all night—SGO catered a Carlos and Gabby’s dinner, and then – six hours later, of course – a lavish breakfast to energize the students for the fast.
After hearing the megillah the next evening, students danced the night away at LCM’s Hawaiian-luau-themed Purim mesibah in the Beis Medrash, which was decorated with towering palm trees, colorful leis, and glow-in-the-dark light sconces. Add the hibiscus curtains, brown-papered windows, and the sandbags in the elevator, and it was hard to believe one wasn’t at a beach on Waikiki. (The literal heat in the room, after all that sweaty dancing, helped as well!)
This year’s costume contest inspired some creative get-ups, including a snowman, Teletubby, and even an LCM laundry bag. Rav Shmulewitz, Dean Ratner, and Alfredo, LCM’s beloved janitor, judged the competition, announcing Aaron Kattan, a tie-dye-shirted hippie, and Shalom Weiss, who dressed up as “half a man” in reference to a class gemara joke (about whether someone who’s only “half a man” is allowed to get married) as the contest winners.
When the lights went dark, the lasers came out and the Lander band led the energetic dancing. Kollel member Ronen Dvash, who played the electric guitar backwards, and LCM student David Schrage, who treated everyone to a unique Purim rap, added to the entertainment. Spiderman – aka Nouriel Eshaghian – didn’t fly, but he did breakdance!
The perfect end to the evening was the annual Purim shpiel video, which – as usual – brought forth rounds of laughs. This year, the subject was very meta-analytic: The Purim shpiel was about creating Purim shpiels!
After the morning’s megillah reading, some students stayed to learn in the Beis (also known as Yeshivas Mordechai HaTzadik during Purim day) for a few hours before mincha, earning the students Safra Judaica gift cards.
As always, hundreds of high-spirited guys packed into the wooden “Purim Shack” (also known as R’ Bamberger’s garage). It wasn’t hard to see what the Mashgiach meant when he said that a miracle happens every year at the Shack, just like at the bais hamikdash: the physical space somehow expands to contain all the visitors!
Then it was on to their respective Rebbeim’s seudahs. And in the blink of an eye, Purim was over.