When it comes to the story of Purim, Queen Esther has received lots of attention. All the little girls want to play her in the Purim spiel. She’s brave, beautiful, loving and heroic: the quintessential female biblical role model.
In a pile of as-yet-undigitized family photos, I found a gem. It’s from a Purim party, years ago, when my wife and I were newly married. She is dressed as a Chasidic rabbi — black suit, side curls, black hat, mustache and beard. Beside her is the rabbi’s wife — me — in a long proper dress and a blond wig.
The central character of Purim is Esther, whose name means hidden. The story is full of things hidden, and waiting for the right time to be revealed.
Launching her world tour in Israel, Madonna appealed for Middle East and world peace.
International pop star Madonna, who will launch her upcoming world tour in Israel, has added a second concert date in Tel Aviv for a "Concert for Peace."
With Purim just a grogger’s turn away on March 19, it's time to reroll the scroll of Esther and take another look at the whole megillah. It's a story with characters so lifelike, I should quote them. That would be news. But lacking a time machine, I was still able to go to the source to hear what Mordecai, Esther, Haman and Vashti have to say: I interviewed prominent people -- Jews and a non-Jew -- whose names either come from the Megillah or sound like they are straight from the scroll:
Iranian authorities have downgraded the status of the tomb of Esther and Mordechai, while an official state news agency has publicized the Purim story as a Jewish massacre of Iranians. Officials recently removed the sign that identified the mausoleum of the biblical figures in the central Iranian city of Hamadan as an official pilgrimage site. The removal of the sign signifies that its status has been downgraded, according to reports. The actions come about two weeks after a group of about 250 militant students surrounded the tomb and threatened to tear it down. Their threats were in response to alleged Israeli excavations under the Al-Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Purim -- from generation to generation.
For the Kids
I've always had an affinity for Esther, the Persian queen who saved the Jews and had an entire megillah named for her.
The Megillah tells us that Esther found the courage to confront Ahasuerus, confess she was a Jew and not only save her relationship, but the entire Jewish people. And yet more than 2,000 years later, this Jewish girl can't even find the courage to confront the guy I'm dating and confess how much I truly like him.
Our family's Esther was an 11-year-old girl, a petite and doe-eyed child with a profound sense of physical and temperamental modesty. She attended a large urban middle school, and this was her first year moving from class to class, her first year of boy-ask-girl school dances, her first year changing clothes in a locker room.