Mardi Gras and Mordechai

March 1, 2012 by Roy Freeman
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The Jewish float at this year’s Mardi Gras will showcase Purim as its theme…Dayenu’s Roy Freeman reports…

Roy Freeman puts the finishing touch to the Magen Dovid

2012 will be the twelfth time that Dayenu has marched in Sydney’s Mardi Gras Parade and this will be our largest float yet. As well as our 3 ton truck bedecked with a 2.2m high three-dimensional Magen David, we will have over 100 marchers participating. As Purim falls within four days of the Parade this year, we’ve chosen this as the theme for our float. Our marchers have been asked to dress up in costume as kings and queens and in the tradition of both Mardi Gras and Purim, many will be cross-dressing. Our float is listed in the Parade guide as “Party ’til you can’t tell king from queen”, a paraphrase of the tradition of drinking “until you can’t tell Haman from Mordechai”.

On the night before the parade, Dayenu  and Emanuel Synagogue Woollahra are holding their annual Mardi Gras Shabbat Service and Dinner. Yet again, we’ve filled the hall to capacity with over 115 booked to attend this event. This is Dayenu’s biggest event of the year and provides the opportunity for us to celebrate both our religion and our sexuality. Many GLBTI (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex) Jews unfortunately feel rejected and unwelcome by the religion and turn their back on Judaism when they come out of the closet, so it is fantastic to know that Emanuel Synagogue is so supportive of our community.

Recent events have shown that there are still Rabbis in Australia who believe that same-sex attraction is an illness or a disorder that can be cured. Members of our community have been coerced into attending so-called “ex-gay” therapies in an attempt to turn them straight. These courses have no proven success rate and at worst have resulted in suicide attempts by attendees who have been misled to believe that they can change their sexuality.

This Friday’s Mardi Gras Shabbat Service and Dinner enables us to celebrate both our sexuality and our religion and sends a powerful message of support to the Jewish GLBTI community. We thank Emanuel Synagogue for their ongoing support.


One Response to “Mardi Gras and Mordechai”
  1. Mazal Tov to Dayenu for an amazing effort.

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