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Purim: A Wacky Tribute to Life

The Talmud's advice for this holiday: get drunk.

by
P. David Hornik

Bio

March 15, 2014 - 6:00 am
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The wackiest of the many holidays on the Jewish calendar is Purim, which falls this year on Saturday evening and Sunday (and a day later in Jerusalem). Purim commemorates the Jews’ deliverance from a genocidal decree of the Persian Empire sometime in the 5th century BCE. Its story is told in the Book of Esther, the last of the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible to be canonized.

Purim, as laid down in the ninth chapter of Esther two and a half millennia ago, is a joyous day, marked by a festive meal, the sending of food gifts, the giving of charity, and the public reading of Esther (mostly in synagogues, though in Israel you can tune into synagogue readings on TV). The Talmud even tells you to get drunk on Purim until you can’t tell the difference between “cursed be Haman” (the villain of the Book of Esther, who is eventually hanged) and “blessed be Mordechai” (a good guy, who eventually becomes the king’s second-in-command).

At some point in medieval times Purim also became a costume holiday. While, in today’s Diaspora, Purim is mostly celebrated by observant Jews, in today’s Israel it’s a countrywide event and you can see colorful, often bizarre costumes everywhere, along with carnival processions on city streets (a custom begun in a then brand-new city, Tel Aviv, in 1912).

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Top Rated Comments   
There is no mystery here: The Edomites and Ishmaelites have joined forces and now turn their Evil eyes toward Jerusalem.


19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama- a modern day Hamann.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death." - Hassan Nasrallah

And the most puzzling aspect of the left: support for Muslim causes and a people who love death and celebrate martyrdom, and revulsion against Jewish causes and a people who love life and mourn for the dead. It's almost as if those who support Muslim causes have a death wish for themselves and, by extension, the rest of the non-Muslim world.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (5)
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Great video on Purim in Jerusalem. The Jews definitely know how to have a good time. The idiots who want to kill them are missing out on their potential best friend, business partner, client, or the person who could change their life for the better. You get more by being nice, it just does not feed you inner beast as much. And bad people need to feed their inner beast.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama- a modern day Hamann.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death." - Hassan Nasrallah

And the most puzzling aspect of the left: support for Muslim causes and a people who love death and celebrate martyrdom, and revulsion against Jewish causes and a people who love life and mourn for the dead. It's almost as if those who support Muslim causes have a death wish for themselves and, by extension, the rest of the non-Muslim world.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not only puzzling, but downright scary.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no mystery here: The Edomites and Ishmaelites have joined forces and now turn their Evil eyes toward Jerusalem.


19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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