Tuesday, July 7, 2015 Tammuz 20, 5775

By:
Ami Eden
Children in costumes. Parents celebrating. Stories of massacres greeted with revelry. Sounds like a decent pitch for Hamas television -- if you switch the Hebrew to Arabic and ignore that it's the scene at most synagogues in the world on the night of Purim. To be fair, most of the Jews in the pews -- and for that matter, the...
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By:
Jon Erlbaum
In the fifth-century BCE, the Jews of the Persian Empire were weakening in their commitment to Judaism. To make matters worse, the evil Haman decided he wanted to destroy the entire Jewish people -- all in one bloody day! Consulting the stars, Haman calculated that the month of Adar would be the most favorable time to attempt his all-in-one-day "final...
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TZAV, Leviticus: 6:1-8:36
By:
Rabbi Alan Iser
Purim is the strangest of Jewish holidays, and Megillat Esther is a strange biblical book. One of the many peculiar aspects of the holiday is the role of the consumption of alcoholic beverages. There are no less than six drinking parties in the book of Esther, four initiated by King Achashverosh or Queen Vashti and two by Queen Esther. The...
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By:
Ethel Hofman, JE Feature
Purim is a crazy, "anything goes" holiday, where it's even encouraged to drink heavily. Kids and adults alike masquerade in costumes. Girls love to be Queen Esther, with sparkly crowns and dresses; for boys, it's the wicked Haman, with big false nose, floppy ears and the notorious tricorn hat. During services, Haman is mocked with groggers, booing, hissing and the...
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By:
The Etz Chaim Center for Jewish Studies and the minyan it created nine years ago are parting ways. The Center City-based outreach organization is getting set to move to a smaller space, and dedicate more of its resources to staffing and programming. At the same time, the informal prayer group that was under its auspices has evolved into an independent...
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