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Brooklyn Brandeis Society celebrates Purim in topsy-turvy fashion

March 22, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
President of the Brooklyn Brandeis Society Miriam Cyrulnik and Vice President Andrew Fallek hosted the second annual Purim Bash on Monday. Photos by Rob Abruzzese.
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The Brooklyn Brandeis Society hosted its second annual Purim Bash as its members donned costumes for the retelling of the story of Queen Esther on Monday night at the Brooklyn Bar Association.

“It’s my honor as president of the Brooklyn Brandeis Society to welcome you all to our second annual Purim Bash,” said Hon. Miriam Cyrulnik.

Part of the Purim tradition includes a “spiel,” or an often failed attempt at humor and/or cleverness. The Brandeis Society’s version of this tradition included a parody of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are The Champions,” prepared by Brandeis Society Vice President Andrew Fallek. 

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“We’ve rehearsed tremendously,” Judge Cyrulnik joked. “In the script and the lyrics that our own Andy Fallek has prepared, we’ve incorporated some elements of experimental or avant-garde theater. So if it looks like we’re making mistakes, we’re not. It is actually the way it was written, and this is the way it’s staged — so that there is an element of confusion, which is part of turning everything upside-down.” 

Before the spiel, Rabbi Seth Wax of Congregation Mount Sinai said a few words and explained the story of Queen Esther.

“This is a jump start of one of the most important parts of the Purim celebration, which is taking part in a Purim meal,” Rabbi Wax said. “You might be surprised to learn that eating and drinking and having fun is one of the most important parts of Purim. So you are all being very religious.”

Hon. Devin Cohen played King Ahasuerus, Fallek played Haman, Judge Cyrulnik played Mordecai, and Hon. Marsha Steinhardt, Hon. Ellen Spodek and Hon. Kathy Levine filled out the chorus. Miriam Daly provided the music on the newly-tuned bar association piano.

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