March 4, 2007
Since today is Purim, I thought I would write about it for a “credit”, if you will towards my conversion. At the end is my concept I had come up with when I thought I was going to be writing the Purim play for the beginner’s shul in Manhattan.
The story of Purim begins where the heroine is humble beginnings. Esther was just a poor little orphan girl who was staying with her uncle. Meanwhile, back at the palace the current queen, Vashti, thought she didn’t even have to listen to the king.
The king held a beauty pageant and Esther was selected as the new queen. At some point, she and Mordecai turn in two traitors. This later becomes important.
Haman who is the villain of the story, gets promoted to become Ahauverosh’s right hand man. He goes power mad and makes everyone bow down to him. For whatever reason, Mordecai won’t do it. As a result, he comes up with an elaborate plot to exterminate the Jewish people, by a lottery system, giving the holiday the Purim name since the word is related to lots or lottery.
As the story unfolds, Esther and the Jewish people fast and pray for three days. Then she goes for it... she goes to see Mordecai and is received, not put to death (well, she was his favorite) so, there’s a banquet and then another banquet and finally she tells the king who is her husband but, well, very removed, “Haman doesn’t have your best interests at heart, he’s tricking you into getting rid of the Jewish people when they haven’t done anything they’re just different, oh, and by the way, I’m Jewish so, he’s going to kill me, too.”
So, the king says, “What? You want to kill my favorite wife?” The gallows prepared for Mordecai are, in sweet justice, used for Haman instead.
Now, we celebrate with triangular cookies symbolic of Haman’s hat. The four Purim mitzvot are: listening to the megillah, gifts of food, gifts to the poor (meals preferred) and the festive meal.