iOS app Android app

Book of Esther

How My Daughter Taught Me the Meaning of Purim

Rabbi Evan Moffic | Posted 05.03.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Evan Moffic

For Hannah -- and for many young children -- the point of hide and seek is to be found. Over time, however, we start to get lost. We hide from ourselves. We hide from what we know is right. We start to hide from God.

Friends in High Places: The Jewish Story of Purim

Tamar Frankiel, Ph.D. | Posted 05.02.2015 | Religion
Tamar Frankiel, Ph.D.

The story as handed down appears in the biblical Book of Esther. The setting was ancient Persia, probably 2400 years ago. The Jewish minority was well assimilated, but viciously hated by some, including a powerful minister of state named Haman.

On Dealing with Drunk Guys

Kathleen Buckstaff | Posted 03.15.2015 | Women
Kathleen Buckstaff

I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. I recently read a story that confirmed that women have been dealing with drunk men for thousands of years.

Top 10 Tech Tips Learned From the Book of Esther

Rabbi Laura Baum | Posted 05.17.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Laura Baum

In today's world, holiday celebration is usually juxtaposed with whatever else is going on at the time. I couldn't help, but reflect on Purim in the context of technology, and I discovered that the Book of Esther is full of helpful tech tips!

Remembering a Woman Who Said 'No!'

David A. Davis | Posted 10.22.2013 | Religion
David A. Davis

In a summer when our public officials again elevated lewd behavior to the public square, remember Vashti. Don't just remember her, join me in paying tribute.

Where Is God In The Book Of Esther?

Brandon Ambrosino | Posted 04.25.2013 | Religion
Brandon Ambrosino

One of the most beautiful books of the Bible, Esther is the only one that doesn't specifically refer to God. Esther's story defies moralizing, but perhaps one of its lessons is that God's hiddenness is not God's absence. Even in the face of death.

The Inverted Soul Of Purim And The Puppet Theater

Michelle Bentsman | Posted 04.24.2013 | Religion
Michelle Bentsman

Purim is the consummate Jewish carnival, and puppetry -- very much at home in the carnival -- is often considered a lowly art, if an art at all. So what can we make of lowly behavior, lowly art and inverted souls?

Purim: A Tale Of Women’s Empowerment

Deborah Rosenbloom | Posted 04.24.2013 | Religion
Deborah Rosenbloom

When it comes to the Bible, it's easy to fall back on standard interpretations year after year, but when we examine a multifaceted story such as Esther's through a modern lens, we see the many ways the story resonates in contemporary life.

Cast Your Lot With Goodness: A 2,300-Year-Old Lesson For Today

Tamar Frankiel, Ph.D. | Posted 04.23.2013 | Religion
Tamar Frankiel, Ph.D.

When humans take the risk to act with virtue and courage, invisible forces conspire on the side of good. Those who use power to do evil will fall, tripped up by their own tortuous machinations.

Heeding The Call: Purim And Developing A Sense Of Hearing In Life

Rabbi Pinchas Allouche | Posted 04.23.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Pinchas Allouche

We ought to never become oblivious to all that which life has to offer. And we ought to remember that the blessings of life emerge precisely when we learn to synchronize what we want from life with what life wants from us. Herein lies the secret to a life of purpose and meaningful achievements.

Throw A Purim Party For Lent!

Jack Levison | Posted 04.22.2013 | Religion
Jack Levison

I make sure my students end just about every week of term by celebrating a Jewish holiday. We're mostly Protestants, so we're not so good at it; but we have fun, and we learn about Jewish history -- our shared history -- by laughing, eating, dancing and praying, sometimes in botched Hebrew.

The Tragic Life Of Queen Esther

Yaacov Cohen | Posted 04.22.2013 | Religion
Yaacov Cohen

Hearing the horror of the planned genocide, the light went on: Esther connected with her inner self and understood why she had been made queen. Esther had been made queen to save her people.

Ask Not What God Can Do for You

Ebn Leader | Posted 04.21.2013 | Religion
Ebn Leader

Most often in our culture God is the address for requests, for the expectation that something that I cannot control will be taken care of by a Higher or Greater Power. What if, in the spirit of Purim and our Torah reading, we adapt JFK's famous statement and ask not what God can do for you, but what you can do for God?

Presidents Day and Purim

Aaron Zelinsky | Posted 04.19.2013 | Politics
Aaron Zelinsky

Presidents Day rarely falls in the same week as Purim, and it won't again for almost 40 years (in 2051 -- take my word for it). But these two seemingly disparate holidays have much in common.

Eating With The Enemy: Esther's Story

Lisa Hickman | Posted 11.26.2012 | Religion
Lisa Hickman

This is the moment, from Tripoli to Tunisia, when we pray for world leaders to sit down at tables, break bread together and work toward renewed understanding.

A Full Read on Netanyahu's Gift to Obama

Tara Kangarlou | Posted 05.20.2012 | Home
Tara Kangarlou

For many, interpreting Netanyahu's exchange with President Obama stopped right as Haman "planned to exterminate the Jews." But as we finish the story we can see the power of diplomacy and dialogue even in historic stories, like that of Esther.

It's Purim: Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Levi Ben-Shmuel | Posted 05.07.2012 | Religion
Levi Ben-Shmuel

Purim points the way that beyond the give and take of the dance of opposites that is the nature of life, is the reality that God is beyond opposites and can be experienced directly in a state of pure, unfiltered joy.

Purim Revelations

Rabbi Rachel Kobrin | Posted 05.07.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Rachel Kobrin

It wasn't until I was an adult that I came to experience the deeper meaning of Purim. Our rabbis teach that Purim (a day of exuberant, drunken celebration) and Yom Kippur (our holiest day of atonement) have much in common.

The Con In Consumerism: A Purim Quest Into Ourselves

Amanda Gelb | Posted 05.07.2012 | Religion
Amanda Gelb

When do we cross the line into materialism or even gluttony? When does having more cease to add appreciably to human satisfaction? Let us cultivate a deeper awareness of our personal measures of success, and celebrate them together.

Esther, Vashti And Other Powerful Women In The Bible

Alicia Jo Rabins | Posted 05.07.2012 | Religion
Alicia Jo Rabins

In honor of Queen Esther, heroine of Purim -- and of her predecessor, Queen Vashti, who gets a lot less scroll-time in the Purim story but is no less fascinating -- here's a roundup of some especially badass ladies of the Hebrew Bible and Jewish legend.

Blot Out The Memory - A Purim Reflection

Rabbi Laura Geller | Posted 05.06.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Laura Geller

We need to remember, but we also need to blot out the memory. We need to free ourselves from despair and darkness, and we need to find a way to bring light and joy and gladness and honor to everyone in the world.

Purim: An American Jewish Celebration

Rabbi Moshe Waldoks | Posted 05.06.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Moshe Waldoks

Fortuitously positioned as a harbinger of spring, Purim joins Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day to form a triumvirate of formidable fun. As a wheel in this tri-cycle of minor American festivities, everyone can feel Jewish on Purim.

Seriously Celebrating

Joshua Schwartz | Posted 05.06.2012 | Religion
Joshua Schwartz

Taking Purim seriously is the commitment to take the contours of our lives seriously, even its extremes, perhaps especially in such cases.

Pray, Fast, Act: Spiritual Escalation Tn Response To Political Extremism

Jim Wallis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Jim Wallis

I am joining Ambassador Tony Hall, David Beckmann of Bread for the World, ONE, American Jewish World Service, Meals on Wheels, Islamic Relief and a broad coalition to fast, pray and act.

The Whimsy, Confusion And Hope Of Purim

Arnold M. Eisen | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Arnold M. Eisen

Purim cautions us not to take ourselves too seriously but to take moral choices extremely seriously. Its strategy is to get us to laugh at facts of life that would otherwise make us cry.