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Hag Purim

02/03/2021 04:55:52 PM


Do you know why the holiday of Purim is called, “Purim?”  Because pur means “lot,” thus meaning the “casting of lots.”  For this is how Haman determined the day on which the Jews of Persia were to be slaughtered.  Not who should be slaughtered, and not if the Jews should be slaughtered, but when.  And just how, according to the Book of Esther, are the Jewish people saved?  By a Jewish girl, debasing herself to participate in a beauty contest, for which she “marinates” in spices and oils, amongst the rest of the “herem,” to then be chosen by a drunk and stupid king.  And then, do you know how the Jews are saved?  Not really because of Esther or even Mordechai, but that the king should deign the Jews as “permitted” to defend themselves (seeing as how once a Kingly decree is declared, it cannot be reversed!).  This does not a strong people make, it would seem.  Yet this legend, which we tell and retell year in and year out, is really a tragedy, about which we say, “If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.”  And so we make fun of this sordid history, this duplicitous tale with a Jewish “mardi-gras,” with embellishment, drunkenness and debauchery.  Now I cannot promise all of that for our Purim, but we will do our best to facilitate: “If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.” 

Purim is meant to be cathartic and efficacious.  It is meant to be an invitation to laugh at our tragedies, not because they are worthy of humor, but because to laugh about them is to not be held by their control.  So!  We are going to laugh this year!  And play bingo!  And be entertained.  And remember that we owe it the millions who are lost to our people, to celebrate and ingratiate ourselves to the story of the Jews.  Its pretty wild, when you think about it.  How did we make it?  How is it that we are still here? 

Join us for Purim Bingo, Thursday February 25th at 7 pm on Zoom!

Sat, June 19 2021 9 Tammuz 5781