February 23, 2006
The Navon family -- Rebecca, Ariella, Eitan, Elisha and Asaf -- gave us our pick for our new name: YeLAdim, which means children in Hebrew. The large L and A are in honor of where we live (good thing we aren't in New York or it wouldn't work). Thank you to all the kids who sent in ideas for a new name -- you are really creative!
Kein v' Lo:
This section of the page will be a way for you as kids to sound off on an issue. This month's kein v' lo (yes and no) is about Queen Vashti. Is she, in the 21st century, a role model for women?
The Kein Side:
- She stood up for what she believed in by refusing to dance in front of her drunk husband and his friends -- wearing only her crown -- during the royal feast. Even under penalty of death she stood by her convictions.
- In earlier verses, she is referred to as "Vashti, the queen." When she tells the king she won't come, she is called "Queen Vashti," to show that she has a mind of her own. The king's advisers feared Vashti would start a trend. One adviser in particular (who some identify as Haman) told Ahashsuerus that he should issue a decree that women should obey their husbands, which he did.
The Lo Side:
- She hosted a separate feast just for the women, but the sages say she held it in the same palace so the women would have a chance to flirt with the men. Some say she was incredibly vain and didn't want to dance because she had a skin disease.
- She was the great-granddaughter of the villainous King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who had destroyed the sacred Temple. On Shabbat, she would summon Jewish women and children and force them to work and do humiliating tasks.
We aren't saying which is right and which is wrong. We want to know what you think. E-mail your thoughts to email@example.com with the subject line Vashti. We'll publish your opinions on a future yeLAdim. And whether you like poppy seed or cherry filling in your hamantaschen
-- Happy Purim!
"Purim is when we celebrate Jews being free to have their way of life and live peacefully. It teaches fairness and kindness, because it said Haman needed to be kind to people that were not like him, and that Esther was very fair in how she got him to stop.
"But the most important thing about Purim is that it's a lot of fun. You eat yummy foods and have a big carnival. For Purim, I plan to attend my religious school's Purim carnival and hear the Megillah." -- Mimi Erlick, 10, Farragut Elementary School, Culver City, and Adat Shalom Religious School.
Do you want to share your opinion about something? Just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and put About...(your topic) in the subject line. We'll print as many as we can.