In little more than a month, Purim will be here again. In addition to masks, groggers, and fun-filled Purim spiels, I hope part of our preparation focuses on the vital messages this festival and the Book of Esther, the text that underlies it, send to us today
The faces in the photo that hangs in the new synagogue in Bad Segeberg haunt me. They seared themselves into my brain the first time I saw it, and they do not let go.
What were these 26 souls thinking when—in hiding–they celebrated Purim in 1936? Their eyes and their smiles betray fear as well as their resolve to celebrate the festival with joy.
There are those who demean Purim and the basis for the festival, the Book of Esther. They say:
“It is the only book in the Tanach that does not mention God!””
“The story reads a cartoon melo-drama. It is…
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