March 21, 2008, - 11:59 am
By Debbie Schlussel
While today is Good Friday and the prelude to Easter Sunday for Christians, it is also an important holiday for the Jewish people.
Today, Jews celebrate Purim, the holiday in which we, yet again, escaped destruction at the hands of our enemies. In ancient Iran a/k/a Persia, King Xerxes (the king portrayed as some sort of transvestite in “300“) was a might, but not too bright, king who ruled over 127 provinces–the largest kingdom in the world at that time. His top advisor, Haman, did not like the Jews and got the king to sign a decree to destroy them.
But in this great story, which is a real-life soap opera, a beautiful woman–the Jew and his Queen, Esther–risked her life and succeeded in overturning that decree. Originally, Xerxes had Vashti as his queen, but she refused to show up at a party the king was holding for all of the men in his kingdom. His advisors warn the king that if he does nothing and allows Queen Vashti’s disobedience to him stand, then news will spread throughout the kingdom and wives throughout the kingdom will disobey their husbands.
Because of that, he got rid of her (some say she was beheaded, others say that she was “sent away”), and held a beauty pageant for all of the young virgins in his kingdom. Out of them, he picked Esther as his queen. Her uncle, Mordechai, advised her how to deal with Haman’s plot and decree to kill the Jews, and she confronted Haman in front of the King at a banquet she held for him. The King got angry and sent Haman and his ten sons to the gallows. And he armed the Jewish people to fight for their survival.
Can you see why feminists would hate this holiday, and I love it?
Much more interesting stuff on Purim from my previous writings on the holiday, here and here. Purim is a true story, and, as I’ve noted previously, Queen Esther and Mordechai are buried in Hamadan, Iran, where their tombs were a huge tourist attraction under the Shah of Iran (when Jews could freely travel in and out of Iran without fear).
I–and many others–see George W. Bush as the modern day Xerxes. . . not too bright, but very powerful. Sadly, instead of being swayed by a modern-day Esther, he’s been won over by Haman (a combination of Mahmoud Abbas, Condi Clueless, James A. Baker, etc.), in forcing Israel to construct a terrorist state in its midst and looking the other way as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arms up. One more year of him and then on to other Xerxes figures, like Barack Hussein Obama.
Today, we celebrate Purim (the holiday started at sundown, last night) by hearing the scroll of twice (once, last night and once, this morning). We use noisemakers whenever Haman’s name is read. It is sort of like a mix between Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day, in that kids dress up in costumes and for adults, it is a commandment/a good deed to get so drunk that you can’t tell the difference between the hero, Mordechai, and the villain, Haman, or the Purim story. In addition, we are also commanded to eat a big feast and to give food or money to the poor, as well as baskets of ready-to-eat foods to friends and neighbors. And we eat three-cornered/triangular pastries, meant to resemble the ears of Haman.
So, to my Jewish friends and readers, a Happy Purim to you!
Thanks to all my readers and friends–Christian, Jewish, and even Druze Arab–who sent me Purim holiday greetings and best wishes.
* Read my “Debbie’s Notes” version of the Purim story.
* Read the entire Scroll of Esther in English. It’s very entertaining.
To my many Christian friends and readers, I respect your religious observances and traditions a great deal. Enjoy your Easter. And, while we have different religions and some different beliefs, we actually have a lot of similar values. To those of you who observe Easter, I am glad you do, because your strong Christian faith is what prevens this country from falling to Islam and becoming another Eurabia (a term coined by author Bat Ye’or and the title of her book). That you have a strong Christian faith is an important bulwark for me as a Jew, so that I can continue to freely practice my faith–and celebrate Purim–in our great country, America.
Related: Inventor Spot features the Five Most Tacky Easter Inventions.
Tags: Advisor, advisors, America, author, Barack Hussein Obama, Bat Ye'or, Easter, Easter By Debbie Schlussel, Easter Sunday, Esther But, food, George W. Bush, Good Friday, Halloween, Hamadan, Haman, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, James A. Baker, King, Mahmoud Abbas, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mordechai, Purim, Queen, St. Patrick's Day, top advisor, Vashti