Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chag Purim Sameach!

And a very Happy Purim to everyone! The photo below is from the Megillah reading this morning (just as we were about to start).

The Book of Esther has all the makings of a hit soap opera. Sex, violence, double crossing and intrigue.

I'm always struck by the ending though. At this point, the King has given the evil Haman permission to annihilate the Jews. The King, after Esther's plea, realizes that this wasn't such a good idea. His solution?

"Now, write up a new decree concerning the Jews as you see fit, and sign it with the royal signet ring. Since the first decree was written in the name of the king, and signed with the royal signet ring, it cannot be repealed."
The decree stated that the king permits the Jews of each city to gather and defend themselves, to destroy, kill, and eradicate all the armies menacing them, children and women, and to pillage their property,

In other words, the King couldn't undo his order. But, he could write a new order giving the Jews permission to fight back. And that's what he did.

It's an odd solution, for surely the Jews would have thought to fight back even without a royal order. But for some reason, I actually buy it. I think there is something powerful about having someone externally encourage you to take an action that you could already take, if only you had the will to do so.

It's certainly an interesting approach to ponder.

Chag Purim Semeach!


  1. Anonymous8:56 PM

    And don't forget to eat lots of hamantaschen!!