By Chaya Gray
Berkeley's Chabad House has a huge, exciting, not-to-be-missed Purim party. Everyone and everything is flying high, including the kosher candy piñata.
I'll never forget the Purim party when "Steve the Gypsy" won the costume contest. The laugh was on all of us when we realized that Steve's Gypsy get-up was not a costume, but just the way this nice, slightly misguided Jewish guy dressed.
It began with Lea, who like many young people, enjoyed hanging out with the characters on "Telegraph Avenue" home to wannabe hippies. She met Steve the Gypsy on Telegraph Avenue and brought him over to the Purim party.
He kept coming back again and again after that initial encounter. Inspired by what he saw, Steve started to learn Tanya (primer of Chabad philosophy) with Rabbi Ferris and absorbed its mystical yet practical teachings like a sponge.
Whenever I dress up for Purim, I remember Steve the Gypsy, and how Purim can remove that external costume that hides the spark in a Jewish soul.