Everyone, at some point in their lives, gets sick, even if it is with just a mild “bug.” Interestingly, the Talmud notes: “Until the time of Jacob, nobody became sick before he died. Then Jacob prayed [for a warning before death so that last wishes may be conveyed], and sickness came into being…Until the time of Elisha [the prophet] no sick person ever recovered, but Elisha prayed and he did recover…” (Baba Metzia 87a). Alas, this is really no consolation to humankind today which is afflicted by a wide range of illnesses and diseases.
The Jewish nation is a people of faith and, as part of our unique combination of peoplehood and religion, must grapple with defining heresy. Jewish life has a basic, structured framework, but, within that, lies a great deal of latitude for individuality. So what makes one a “heretic”?
“A person should drink on Purim up to the point where they cannot tell the difference between ‘Blessed is Mordechai’ and ‘Cursed is Haman’” (Megilla 7a).
Oy vey, from gentiles to Jewish mothers, we all see JDating a bit differently! While we know most of these images are meshugenah, here’s a funny look at how those around us may see the world of JDating! Share it and have a good laugh!
“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day; I and my maidens will also fast in like manner; and so will I go into the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16). So responded Esther to her uncle Mordechai when he requested that she present herself, unbidden, before King Achashverosh.
Purim is celebrated on Thursday, March 8th (beginning Wednesday evening, March 7th, after sunset). Four mitzvot are associated with the holiday:
“And the maiden [Esther] pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily provided her with her ointments, along with her appointed rations, and with the seven maids, which were designated to be given to her out of the king’s house…” (Esther 2:9).
This Shabbat is Shabbat Parashat Zachor, the Sabbath of Remembering.
There is an unusual statement in the Talmud (Berachot 44b) about the therapeutic value of particular foods: “Six things provide a permanent cure for illness: cabbage, beets, an extract of sisin, the stomach of an animal, the womb of an animal and the large lobe of the liver of an animal.”
One might think that the Book of Esther is a heroic tale about Mordechai and Esther saving the Jewish people through diplomatic skill, after all God is not mentioned once in the entire text. Looking deeper, however, one is struck by the overwhelming number of “coincidences” of the right people being in the right places at the right times. To follow one such line of “coincidences”: