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  • This is the Year to Reflect on Purim’s Darker Message

    Children dressed in costumes. Parents celebrating. Stories of massacres greeted with revelry. Sounds like a decent pitch for Hamas television – if you switch out the Hebrew for Arabic and ignore that it’s the scene at most synagogues in the world on the night of Purim. To be fair, most of the Jews in the… More ▸

  • Op-ed Purim’s Revelry Conceals Message

    When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad invited Holocaust deniers from around the world to “re-envision history” by shedding darkness on our people’s darkest hours, white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke spoke on behalf of “the oppressed people of the world” and was given an opportunity on CNN to call Wolf Blitzer a… More ▸

  • Purim Feature Youtube Appeal for Gift Baskets

    Imagine what Esther and Mordechai could have accomplished with YouTube. A New Jersey synagogue has seized upon the latest Internet technology to send the Purim message to far-flung U.S. Jewish troops and raise funds for gift packages, or mishloach manot. The YouTube message, performed as a good-natured spoof of an Oval Office address, has exceeded… More ▸

  • Arts & Culture Film Looking at Purim Story Adds to the Faith-based Trend

    ” ‘Christian money makes Jewish film’ — that’s the headline I’d like to see above your article,” Matthew Crouch, producer of “One Night with the King,” suggested in an interview. The film, based on the Book of Esther from the Purim holiday, “brims with adventure, intrigue, romance and wonder,” said Crouch, the son of mega-televangelists… More ▸

  • Belarus Jewish Leader Protests After Teacher is Pressured for Purim Party

    A Jewish leader in Belarus has sent a letter to Belarusian officials arguing that a local prosecutor illegally forced a Jewish kindergarten teacher to remove Jewish symbols from classrooms. Yakov Basin, the deputy leader of the country’s Jewish community, sent the letter last month, after the prosecutor said Lyudmila Izakson-Bolotovskaya violated the law by holding… More ▸

  • Purim Feature I Could Have Shpieled All Night: Broadway Stars Do Purim Show

    Jews are prime consumers of Metamucil, can never order directly off a menu and — enough already! — too many of them become Buddhists. These were some of the lessons of an irreverent, self-deprecating, high-octane version of the Purim story, as told by a host of Broadway stars who spent their shows’ night off Monday… More ▸

  • Crisis in Iraq for Rabbis, It’s No Coincidence War on Iraq Again Linked to Purim

    Purim celebrates the ancient Jewish victory over evil in Persia, but this year it also signaled war against Iraq. Few Jewish leaders and thinkers failed to hear the historic echoes. Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and a tough critic of the war against Iraq, pointed to… More ▸

  • Crisis in Iraq Israelis Spend Purim Preparing to Seal Rooms Ahead of Iraq War

    Twelve years after Purim celebrations in Israel marked the end of the first Persian Gulf War, Israelis spent the holiday this week preparing for the next war. With an American attack on Iraq imminent, the Israel Defense Force’s Home Front Command on Tuesday ordered the public to prepare sealed rooms for protection against potential chemical… More ▸

  • Purim Feature in Ukraine, Cross Dressing, Vodka and Songs Mark the Story of Esther

    The Purim spiel here is a bawdy affair. Cross-dressing Jewish community officials with gold teeth and uneven breasts, solicit young King Ahasuerus — who, predictably, chooses Esther. A Nazi-costumed Haman loses his eye patch when he is tossed to the ground, spanked and ejected from the scene. Everyone sings, eats hamantashen and drinks vodka. The… More ▸