Sunday, March 07, 2004

Happy Purim

Be joyful - today is Purim!
I hope you get to celebrate this joyful holiday of hamentaschen (yummy filled cookies for the uninitiated), noisemakers and costumes.
On Purim we remember the heorism of Esther, who risked her life to save her people, our people.

Purim has come to mean other things to me as well. On Purim we use groggers (noisemakers), our feet and mouths to drown out the name of the evil Haman, who because of his ego convinced the King (Achasveirosh) to decree the death of all Jews. This year, I propose that we also drown out the names of all abusive men and women who molest, incest, rape, beat, taunt and instill fear in other men or women or especially in children.

The story of Purim has some problematic sections in it as well as the triumphant ones. For example, Queen Vashti (Queen before Esther) is dethroned because she refuses to be a sex toy for her husband and his friends. Here are two great feminist reflections/articles/programs on Purim: Unmasking Esther: A Women's Celebration and Vashti: A Feminist Heroine?" and Vashti: A Feminist Heroine?.

Purim is a time to speak out against injustice - especially injustice against women. As said in the Unmasking Esther article linked above, "So, dear readers, ha'zak v'ematz, be strong and take courage. As Mordechai once said to Esther (chapter 4:14) "If you persist in keeping silent at a time like and yours will persish. And who knows whether it was just for such a time as this that you attained your elevated position?" And Esther looked him straight in the eye and answered, "Gotcha.""

If you want a general Purim resource, try My Jewish Learning - Purim

Enjoy and be empowered,
Your sister survivor/thriver,

No comments: