Tag Archives: Purim

Community Blog Esther_haram

From Prophets to Process: Purim Ponderings

Rabbi Zadok Hakohen of Lublin (1823-1900) traces the development of the Oral Law to the time of Purim. The basic founding of the Oral Torah began with the men of the Great Assembly … in that generation lived the last prophets … for with the demise of that generation prophecy was stopped up and the writing of the Torah became forbidden, just as was the writing of prophecy … Even… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Purim-Mask-2

More Than One Thing: Purim and Reflections of the Image of God

Megillat Esther, which we read on the holiday of Purim this week, is a flamboyant, even farcical tale of good and evil. Its characters on the face of it are caricatures of human virtue and vice: Achashueras, the foolish king who sits on the throne but exercises no true leadership or authority; Haman, the sinister power behind the throne who cleverly executes his genocidal plan until he himself is executed upon… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah d1

Remembering the Future: Memories of the Heart

This Shabbat, the weekly Torah portion, Tetzaveh, embraces the consecration of the priesthood to God, and the special designated Torah reading for the Shabbat prior to Purim, known as Shabbat Zachor, commands us to remember/not forget our encounter with Amalek, who sought to destroy us. A kaleidoscope of voices and texts construct and reconstruct our minds and hearts, our past and future. How do we hold in one breath the… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah purim

Matanot L’Evyonim – Giving and Receiving on Purim

Adar is here! Purim, with all its joy and merriment, is on its way.   As someone who was passed over when the gene that appreciates alcoholic beverages was dispensed, I find Purim, and the way it is widely celebrated, perplexing. Looking for the Divine in Purim can be difficult. We have a meal with no kiddush or candles, a scroll with no mention of G-d, where the heroine’s very name… Read Article →

Teen Voices miriasha_and_laverne_cox

Laverne Cox’s Brave New Platform

This month our Rising Voices Fellows respond to statements by and about Jewish feminist icons. Be sure to check the JWA blog each Tuesday for a new post from our fellows—and check out the great educational resources provided by our partner organization, Prozdor. I consider myself a feminist, and I also strive to combat other axes of oppression in my daily life, but sometimes I fall through. Far too often, I’ll stay quiet when I… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah israel

Jewish Memory Week: A Tale in Three Parts

The memory of the Holocaust today is vulnerable. Between the Diaspora and Israel the Jewish people are fighting about the meaning of the Holocaust, encoding in our ideological debates about who we want to be in the world our increasingly polarizing interpretations about our recent past. It is the nature of trauma that we become conditioned to act and behave in certain ways as a result of what we experience…. Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens CMB35PAI000001

Do You Have a Red Bandana?

Purim is by far the silliest, most playful holiday on the Jewish calendar. Children in particular enjoy the customs of Purim – dressing up in costumes, cheering the heroes Mordechai and Esther and booing the villain Haman, eating hamantashen (be they poppy-, apricot-, or chocolate-filled). It may seem amid all this silliness that Purim is a holiday primarily for children. Actually, there are many aspects and themes to Purim that… Read Article →

Community Blog Community Blog Shushan Purim

Shushan Purim

We acknowledge today as Shushan Purim, as a commemoration of the day when the Jews of Shushan (the walled Persian capital) finally rested after defeating their enemies. They returned to their gated community, and rejoiced. Although it is most fully celebrated by those in Jerusalem (and some other walled cities), we also acknowledge the day as one of celebration. For example, just as on Shabbat, we do not recite Tachanun today, as to not take away from our joy…. Read Article →

Community Blog Community Blog Purim A Holiday of Friendship

Purim: A Holiday of Friendship?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my teachers lately, almost all of whom were influenced deeply by Rabbi David Hartman, who passed away last week in Jerusalem at the age of 81. It was from one of my most significant teachers, Rabbi James Ponet, that I first learned about Rabbi Hartman’s understanding of Purim as the Jewish holiday of friendship. The connection may seem counterintuitive at first. A holiday of… Read Article →

Pluralistic Perspectives Community Blog Fun and Easy Ways to Celebrate Purim with Young Children

Easy Ways to Celebrate Purim at Home With Young Children

Purim always takes me back to my childhood in Israel, when a sense of festivity was in the air. The weeks leading up to Purim—starting this year on Saturday, Feb. 23—entailed a big debate regarding what costume to choose. For a young child, choosing a costume was a difficult task that required lots of imagination and a sense of excitement. Ready-made costumes were not so common, and I enjoyed seeing… Read Article →