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Whatta Ya Mean Purim's Not For Kids?!

Okay, Hayyim. Now I know you're strongly opinionated, so please sit quietly while I present my case.

Rabbi, when have I ever interrupted you?

Right. Now Purim, I'm sure you remember, celebrates the miraculous rescue of the Shushan Jews. Haman wanted to have us killed, but Queen Esther and her cousin Mordekhai bravely saved the day.

But Mordekhai was her uncle, Rabbi.

Cousin, Hayyim. He was her cousin. And...Read more...

“So Many Hamans and Only One Purim!”

So says an old Yiddish proverb. The persistence of antisemitism, as evidenced not only by ongoing bias crimes but by occasional words in our own neighborhoods, ever reminds us that we live in an imperfect world, a world sorely in need of great amounts of healing.

Each 14th of Adar we gather to retell the events of Megillat Esther, the Scroll of Esther. In it, we learn (each year, for we love to recall the happy ending missing from too...Read more...

What Lies Within

Hebrew lesson. "Esther." Know why she got that name? From the Hebrew root, "samekh-tav-resh" ... seh-tayr. Meaning "hidden."

Esther enters the court of King Ahashuerus concealing her Jewish identity. And when Mordekhai informs Esther of Haman's plan to annihilate the Jews, Esther contemplates continuing this same course. She thinks she can avoid a painful fate if she just hides.

It is her cousin Mordekhai, however, who...Read more...

Sh’lakh Ma-what?

Each year, our religious school sponsors a Purim Goody Bags sale in which you and I send friends and neighbors sh’lakh manot, something tasty and fun for Purim. Delivering sh’lakh manot is an ancient Jewish tradition that traces its origins to the Book of Esther. After Mordekhai and Esther rescued the Jews of Shushan from the evil clutches of cruel Haman (boo!), a day of celebration was declared (Purim!) which was to...Read more...

Vashti: Shrew or Shplendid?

She doesn't even make it past chapter one. Vashti's banished from the kingdom before you can say, "Beauty contest, anyone?"

What's up with that lady, anyway? Well, before consigning Queen Vashti to the dungheap of historical castaways, you may want to take a closer look at Esther's scroll (that is, the original Megillah).

To paraphrase: On the seventh day (of drunken revelry), King Ahashuerus ordered Queen Vashti be brought...Read more...

Wed, October 21 2020 3 Cheshvan 5781