Happy Purim


Purim is a silly holiday.

 It’s a deeply spiritually meaningful Jewish holiday, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a holiday whose observance involves a lot of being silly. For example, we have Purim Torah, a sort of high level satirical joking. (Or sometimes not really so high level.) Then there are Purim costumes, which in some communities are very silly indeed. Purimspiel at Congregation Beth Israel in North Adams, Mass. Purim plays (also called purimspielen) were some of the first Jewish theater, and to this day there are opportunities for members of Jewish communities to mock each other and the current political situation as they retell the story of the Book of Esther. There are Purim carnivals for children in costume. There are special Purim foods, like hamantashen, the jam-filled pastries that we North American Jews of Eastern European extraction make for this holiday, and, well, alcoholic beverages. (No, alcohol is not mandatory. I’ve been to more than one Purim party where people claim to be drinking when they are really holding cups of alcohol while telling jokes. You should never feel pressure to drink. Or to laugh.)

It’s the perfect holiday for this blog, because:

1. It’s a holiday about a Jewish woman who entered an interfaith marriage, preserved her identity and saved the Jewish people. Enough said.

2. On the internet, no one knows whether you’re wearing a Purim costume. (No, I’m not. For one thing, it’s not Purim yet. Also, I’m at work. In addition, I don’t even wear a costume at the megillah reading. Those are my real nose and glasses.)

3. If you haven’t seen this funny video, you should.

2 thoughts on “Happy Purim”

  • Purim has always been one of my favorite holidays.

    many people often forget that Esther was intermarried (as were Moses, Joseph, and King Solomon- though he had more of a harem as opposed to one wife). but regardless of who her husband was, Esther is considered a heroine to the Jews and the King could perhaps be seen as a K’rov Yisroel (a Friend of Israel) for his actions. he may not have been Jewish, but he was willing to do a lot to ensure the survival of his wife’s people. there are many peope like that today who are dedicated to preserving Jewish continuity even if they themselves are not Jewish.

    oh, and that clip is hilarious. it’s actually showing at the 92nd Street Y sometime in the near future as part of a film festival.

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