Shedding New Light on Jewish Traditions

Shelly Homer Story

An Or Hadash Purim

Shelly Homer


If you hear groggers and giggles, it must be Purim!

My first glimpse of Or Hadash was at an open house on Purim. Having come from a fairly dull, Conservative synagogue, I was immediately struck by the casual, friendly atmosphere created by congregants who were not afraid to let their hair down and have a good time. It already felt like family.


A few years after joining Or Hadash, I was inspired to become a Purim spieler because it looked like so much fun. I was shy and nervous, but the rest of the spielers put me at ease. We spent many Sunday afternoons together at rehearsals, preparing for the performance, but mostly laughing at ourselves and having a good time. As soon as Purim was over, I was looking forward to the next one.


The next one turned out to be the first spiel for which I wrote the song parodies. A script had been written but needed songs, so I gave it a try. I prepared a couple of songs, and the encouragement of the rest of the group gave me the motivation to keep going until all 10 songs were written. I wrote the songs for nine more spiels after that, as well as the scripts for three of them. I can be confident that even if I produce mediocre material, the funny spielers will turn it into something highly entertaining!


Putting together a Purim spiel is more than just staging a play. It allows us to continue the tradition of telling the Purim story in a funny way, incorporating some of the best qualities of Or Hadash: cooperation, collaboration, and camaraderie.