Mar 24, 2024

"VICTORY": A Purim Message

"VICTORY": A Purim Message

So many messages this Purim have been screaming out from the text, not the least of which is that the great victory Esther achieved was that, “...the king permitted the Jews of every city to assemble and fight for their lives. (Est. 8:11)” A Jewish right to self-defense is not an insignificant triumph, especially in an upside-down world like ours. But it is worthy of note - and a clarion call for vigilance - that a sacred text long understood as an absurd political satire still rings so true.

(Text below, with thanks to Sefaria)

讜ַ讬ִּ拽ָּ专ְ讗֣讜ּ 住ֹ驻ְ专ֵֽ讬־讛ַ诪ֶּ֣诇ֶ讱ְ 讘ָּֽ注ֵ转־讛ַ֠讛ִ֠讬讗 讘ַּ讞ֹ֨讚ֶ砖ׁ 讛ַ砖ְּׁ诇ִ讬砖ִׁ֜讬 讛讜ּ讗־讞ֹ֣讚ֶ砖ׁ 住ִ讬讜ָ֗谉 讘ִּ砖ְׁ诇讜ֹ砖ָׁ֣讛 讜ְ注ֶ砖ְׂ专ִ讬诐֮ 讘ּ讜ֹ֒ 讜ַ讬ִּ讻ָּ转ֵ֣讘 讻ְּֽ讻ׇ诇־讗ֲ砖ֶׁ专־爪ִ讜ָּ֣讛 诪ׇ专ְ讚ֳּ讻ַ֣讬 讗ֶ诇־讛ַ讬ְּ讛讜ּ讚ִ֡讬诐 讜ְ讗ֶ֣诇 讛ָ讗ֲ讞ַ砖ְׁ讚ַּ专ְ驻ְּ谞ִֽ讬诐־讜ְ讛ַ驻ַּ讞讜ֹ转֩ 讜ְ砖ָׂ专ֵ֨讬 讛ַ诪ְּ讚ִ讬谞֜讜ֹ转 讗ֲ砖ֶׁ֣专 ׀ 诪ֵ讛ֹ֣讚ּ讜ּ 讜ְ注ַ讚־讻ּ֗讜ּ砖ׁ 砖ֶׁ֣讘ַ注 讜ְ注ֶ砖ְׂ专ִ֤讬诐 讜ּ诪ֵ讗ָ讛֙ 诪ְ讚ִ讬谞ָ֔讛 诪ְ讚ִ讬谞ָ֤讛 讜ּ诪ְ讚ִ讬谞ָ讛֙ 讻ִּ讻ְ转ָ讘ָ֔讛ּ 讜ְ注ַ֥诐 讜ָ注ָ֖诐 讻ִּ诇ְ砖ֹׁ谞֑讜ֹ 讜ְ讗ֶ֨诇־讛ַ讬ְּ讛讜ּ讚ִ֔讬诐 讻ִּ讻ְ转ָ讘ָ֖诐 讜ְ讻ִ诇ְ砖ׁ讜ֹ谞ָֽ诐׃
So the king’s scribes were summoned at that time, on the twenty-third day of the third month, that is, the month of Sivan; and letters were written, at Mordecai’s dictation, to the Jews and to the satraps, the governors and the officials of the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Nubia: to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language.

讜ַ讬ִּ讻ְ转ֹּ֗讘 讘ְּ砖ֵׁ诐֙ 讛ַ诪ֶּ֣诇ֶ讱ְ 讗ֲ讞ַ砖ְׁ讜ֵ专ֹ֔砖ׁ 讜ַ讬ַּ讞ְ转ֹּ֖诐 讘ְּ讟ַ讘ַּ֣注ַ转 讛ַ诪ֶּ֑诇ֶ讱ְ 讜ַ讬ִּ砖ְׁ诇ַ֣讞 住ְ驻ָ专ִ֡讬诐 讘ְּ讬ַ讚֩ 讛ָ专ָ爪ִ֨讬诐 讘ַּ住ּ讜ּ住ִ֜讬诐 专ֹ讻ְ讘ֵ֤讬 讛ָ专ֶ֙讻ֶ砖ׁ֙ 讛ָֽ讗ֲ讞ַ砖ְׁ转ְּ专ָ谞ִ֔讬诐 讘ְּ谞ֵ֖讬 讛ָֽ专ַ诪ָּ讻ִֽ讬诐׃
He had them written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king’s signet. Letters were dispatched by mounted couriers, riding steeds used in the king’s service, bred of the royal stud,

讗ֲ砖ֶׁ专֩ 谞ָ转ַ֨谉 讛ַ诪ֶּ֜诇ֶ讱ְ 诇ַ讬ְּ讛讜ּ讚ִ֣讬诐 ׀ 讗ֲ砖ֶׁ֣专 讘ְּ讻ׇ诇־注ִ讬专־讜ָ注ִ֗讬专 诇ְ讛ִ拽ָּ讛ֵ诇֮ 讜ְ诇ַ注ֲ诪ֹ֣讚 注ַ诇־谞ַ驻ְ砖ָׁ诐֒ 诇ְ讛ַ砖ְׁ诪ִ讬讚֩ 讜ְ诇ַ讛ֲ专ֹ֨讙 讜ּ诇ְ讗ַ讘ֵּ֜讚 讗ֶ转־讻ׇּ诇־讞ֵ֨讬诇 注ַ֧诐 讜ּ诪ְ讚ִ讬谞ָ֛讛 讛ַ爪ָּ专ִ֥讬诐 讗ֹ转ָ֖诐 讟ַ֣祝 讜ְ谞ָ砖ִׁ֑讬诐 讜ּ砖ְׁ诇ָ诇ָ֖诐 诇ָ讘ֽ讜ֹ讝׃
to this effect: The king has permitted the Jews of every city to assemble and fight for their lives; if any people or province attacks them, they may destroy, massacre, and exterminate its armed force together with women and children, and plunder their possessions—

讘ְּ讬֣讜ֹ诐 讗ֶ讞ָ֔讚 讘ְּ讻ׇ诇־诪ְ讚ִ讬谞֖讜ֹ转 讛ַ诪ֶּ֣诇ֶ讱ְ 讗ֲ讞ַ砖ְׁ讜ֵ专֑讜ֹ砖ׁ 讘ִּ砖ְׁ诇讜ֹ砖ָׁ֥讛 注ָ砖ָׂ֛专 诇ְ讞ֹ֥讚ֶ砖ׁ 砖ְׁ谞ֵ讬诐־注ָ砖ָׂ֖专 讛讜ּ讗־讞ֹ֥讚ֶ砖ׁ 讗ֲ讚ָֽ专׃
on a single day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, namely, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar.


Mar 14, 2024

New Book Announcement: Seder Interrupted: A Post-October 7 Hagaddah Supplement

Honored to have partnered with my friend, my teacher, Dr. Ora Horn Prouser and Academy for Jewish Religion in this timely project.
Pesach (Passover) is one of the holidays that is most widely celebrated in the Jewish community. This year, as so many are struggling with the events of October 7, the tragic suffering of Israeli hostages, and the rise of Antisemitism in the United States and beyond, the texts and observances of Passover are open to new and difficult meanings, new interpretation, and deep connections. How are we thinking about the definition of freedom this year? How do we read Vehi She’amdah this year as we see on a daily basis those who “seek our destruction”? What is the new meaning in L’shanah Haba’ah B’yerushalayim as many in the American Jewish community are strengthening connections to Israel? What will we be thinking during Shfoch Chamat'cha when we struggle with the concept of calling for God’s anger against our enemies? Seder Interrupted is a timely resource for the Jewish community that will help us all to process and celebrate Pesach 2024/5784 – finding joy and allowing ourselves to experience sadness, and connecting to the Divine and each other, perhaps in different ways in the new world we are experiencing.

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