The Story of the Diaspora in a Nutshell (Purim 5783)
Let’s face it, on Purim we Jews look pathetic. Yeah, I know, it’s supposed to be a happy holiday in which we were miraculously saved, but for me, Purim inspires more shame than joy.Read more
Overcoming the Revival of 'Hamanism' (Purim 5781)
Ridiculousness is one of the central characteristics of Purim. On this holiday, we are not afraid to be silly and absurd. We don funny costumes; we drink ourselves into oblivion; we are boisterous and noisy.Read more
Of Masks and Plagues (Purim 5780)
Time has a knack for irony.
The last of Chronos’ practical jokes: making us celebrate a holiday in which we disguise ourselves, in the middle of a global pandemic whose symbol is to be the ubiquitous face mask.Read more
From Shushan to Sarajevo (Purim 5779)
A 19-year-old boy was arguably the most influential person in the 20th century and, most probably, you’ve never heard of him.
His name was Gravilo Princip and by sheer luck one day in Sarajevo, he found himself in front of the Hapsburg Archduke Franz Ferdinand with a pistol in his pocket. Princip, a member of a Serbian nationalist movement that opposed the Hapsburgs’ empire, seized his moment: he pulled the trigger twice, and set in motion the hecatomb of World War I.Read more
Did Haman Have a Point?
Maybe what Haman wanted wasn’t so bad after all. He yearned for a homogeneous society, one in which people think the same thoughts, obey the same ruler, respect the same law, and march together towards glory and prosperity. If a small group stands in the way of a bright utopia, isn’t it justified to eliminate them?
Purim: Shame, Power, and Dumb Luck
What if we are wrong about Purim? What if Purim is not the joyful holiday that we think it is, but a mordant exercise in self-criticism, a painful look at the mirror, a scathing self-deprecation designed to inspire shame rather than glee?Read more
The Haman Within: Purim 5776
Cross-posted at the Times of Israel, March 22, 2016
Purim is a holiday in which we are not afraid to be ridiculous. We don funny costumes; we drink ourselves into oblivion; we are boisterous and noisy. Purim is all about ridicule.Read more
Purim, the Beauty of Difference
Purim is arguably one of the merriest holidays of the Jewish calendar. Because of that, perhaps, we don’t often reflect on its deep meaning and its contemporary relevance.Read more