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Sabbath of Remembering
Sabbath of Remembering

This Shabbat is Shabbat Parashat Zachor, the Sabbath of Remembering. The Torah portion that is read as the Maftir (additional) portion after the conclusion of the regular weekly Torah reading, commands the Jewish people to remember that…

The Whole Megillah
The Whole Megillah

Whether it’s a long-winded tale, or a story overloaded with details — it’s called a “whole megillah!” (In “the old country” they would have said “a gantse megillah!”) So what exactly is a “megillah”? Technically, a megillah is…

Hester Panim
Hester Panim

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…

Costume Time
Costume Time

Those who first hear about the custom of wearing Purim costumes might assume that the tradition began as an imitation of Halloween. Research, however, places the origin of Halloween costumes in the 18th century, while Purim disguises are…

The Fast of Esther
The Fast of Esther

In commemoration of that fast, Jews around the world observe Ta’anit Esther, the Fast of Esther, on the 13th of Adar, the day before Purim.

The Power of Propaganda
The Power of Propaganda

In the last decade, there has been a noted increase in anti-Semitism, especially in Europe. But, attacks against the Jewish people are hardly new. Even the authors of the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, however, were not origi…

It Was Bashert
It Was Bashert

Bashert, which in Yiddish means “predestined,” is most commonly applied to the concept of one’s intended soul-mate. This idea that, when dating, one is searching for his/her bashert, stems from Talmud…

Viewing Vashti
Viewing Vashti

She was raised a royal princess, he was raised in the stables. Vashti the daughter of the great Babylonian king, Belshazzar, and Achashverosh the son of Darius the Mede, were a match never meant to be….

Who Was Achashverosh?
Who Was Achashverosh?

“Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus–this is Ahasuerus who reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over a hundred and seven and twenty provinces…” (Esther 1:1).While academic scholars struggle to identify Achashverosh (perhaps Ataxer…

The Four Mitzvot of Purim
The Four Mitzvot of Purim

This year, Purim will be celebrated on Sunday, March 16th (beginning Saturday evening, March 15th, after sunset). Four mitzvot are associated with the holiday…

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