A lesson for Purim
Adin Steinsaltz
Published: 10.03.09, 13:16
Comment Comment
Print comment Print comment
Back to article
25 Talkbacks for this article
al mann ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (03.10.09)
People have overemphasized the importance of masks, uniforms and externals. This is not Purim! The assimilation rate in Persia after the expulsion and destruction of the First Temple was very great. Most people went to the King's celebration whose aim was to show how great and wonderful the usurping King was. As a result, a Haman appeared and with him all the threats to erase the Mordecais living in Persia, because they refused to bow to him. Yet, during a time of threat of extinction the B' nai Yisroel remembered their identity and sat with Mordecai and cried out to Hashem. They were unified at that moment. Is this what will have to happen in our times in order to unify the people today? 34 political parties doesn't seem to be much unity of purpose. What will have to happen to bring about unity today, in our time?
2. Purim, Megillat Ester, Moodoo v Ester is fiction.
JMK ,   NYC   (03.10.09)
There is no corroborating evidence anywhere at anytime for this story, of course it feels good, it was written to be a feel good story. Like Jesus and Mohammed NEVER existed, and like the New Testament and the Koran is fiction.
3. If it's "fiction", who's buried in Hamadan?
Raymond in DC ,   Washington, DC USA   (03.10.09)
You may be surprised to learn of the tomb of Esther and Mordecai in the city of Hamadan in today's Iran. So, even granting that the story may not have played out exactly as in the Megillah, there's something to this story.
4. Marduk= Mordechai,Ishtar= Esther
Jacob ,   Munich,Germany   (03.10.09)
whenever I read about the old peoples of Mesopotamia and their gods, these 2 names strike. But even if it is a fiction; the story is a good example
5. Beautifull and very profound,Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz !
Keren ,   Israel-SP   (03.10.09)
The espiritual distancement of our enemies that you mention ,the one that makes us able to laugh at them,it is the same that gives us the hability to keep always aware and prepared, up to the moment that,through our analytical "distant"conciousness and correct actions,we will ultimatelly destroy them. It is interesting your observation about that just after we laugh,we start preparing and cleaning ourselves to the,hopefully,last battle against enemies and the fulfillment of one more stage of our mission,which maybe is the meaning of the so longed Mashiach and a new beggining for ourselves ,in another level,much ,much higher that the present. May this time be now!
6. #2 - Inspite that JMK, NYC
KMZ ,   TAC   (03.10.09)
is fiction, his comment was written to be a feel good story.
Ivri ,   IL   (03.10.09)
Is an antisemite,who never feels good about anything nor anybody.
8. Good Purim to the World!
The Dude ,   Los Angeles, USA   (03.10.09)
"It [Purim] was the first display of anti-Semitism in history." R' Steinsaltz undoubtedly is a great scholar, one of the greatest of our times. However, doesn't Pharoah get the credit for "first antisemite", for those Egyptian forced-labor camps?
9. The True Amalek and Haman today are
eli ,   haifa   (03.10.09)
the members of the anti-Semotic Left!
10. Queen Esther buried in Israel?
Yisraeli   (03.10.09)
Some little known information re Esther being re-interred in Israel. http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/archives5761/terumah/aesther.htm and http://asimplejew.blogspot.com/2006/03/mordechai-esther-buried-in-eretz.html
11. Well Said.
Josh ,   NYC   (03.10.09)
Thank you Adin - This gives me much room for thought.
12. Profound and true.
Sarah ,   Jerusalem   (03.10.09)
13. "it flourishes even in our cosmopolitan and enlightened era"
L ,   Elad, Israel   (03.11.09)
...not so much "even" as "especially"!!! We especially see it in the guise of not-so-genteel "leftist" world-wide political demonstrations against Israel (ah, yes, anti-semitism hiding under the banner of "politics" -- it's never been so safe and acceptable).
14. Real laugh: fallacies presented & accepted by airheads
Paqid Yirmeyahu ,   Ra'anana, Israel   (03.11.09)
"The fact such explanations are so numerous proves there is no truth to them and..." By this reasoning, the numerous explanations for some passages of Torah proves there is no truth to them? What a blatant logical fallacy! How can airheads be fooled into accepting such a stupid statement as "logic"? Ignoring his own myopic assertion that "anti-Semitism is also very mysterious," R. Steinsaltz nevertheless, sans logical basis, continues "As anti-Semitism is irrational in essence, we may be able to defend ourselves against it but we have no way of uprooting it." If it's so mysterious to him then he cannot assert as fact that it "is irrational in essence." In fact, it is extremely rational in essence. Misojudaism is mysterious only to the myopic. Esteir documents that the incident with Haman arose from a religious conflict against a principle of Torah. "Jewish attempts in the last hundreds of years to resolve the problem using opposite means – extreme assimilation on the one hand, and the establishment of an independent state on the other hand – did not resolve the problem... The conclusion of this is that we only have two possible responses..." Surely, this farcical claimed "conclusion of this" is a Purim joke! First, "attempts" can fail for myriad reasons having nothing to do with proving the approach is wrong. Second, trying two extremes in no way implies "that we only have two possible responses." The article includes a hodgepodge of totally ridiculous and illogical fallacies. Every incident of misojudaism (incorrectly "anti-Semitism") since Haman has been due to the identical cause: our very existence demonstrates the disproof of their religion... hence, their need to terminate our existence. It shouldn't take a computer scientist to figure out that the only remedy is not by laughing at our persecutors--Ahmadinejad today--but, rather, by illuminating those goyim with the Light of Torah, through asserting the merits of Torah in qiruv, so that their misojudaism is displaced by philojudaism--love of Torah. You cannot do that until the INTERPRETATIONS (halakhah) of Torah are brought into harmony with logic and modern science. You cannot do that by passing off fallacies as logic or laughing at reality rather than confronting and dealing with it. Paqid Yirmeyahu The Netzarim, Ra'anana, Israel Israeli Orthodox Jew (Teimani Baladi Dardai) Advancing Logic as Halakhic Authority Welcoming Jews & non-Jews www.netzarim.co.il
15. Prof. Uzi Even and Dr. Amit Kama
Still ,   unilluminated goyim   (03.11.09)
are brought already into harmony with logic and modern science and are illuminating goyim with the Light of Torah, through asserting the merits of Torah in qiruv, so that their misojudaism is displaced by philojudaism--love of Torah. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3684109,00.html
16. 15 Depravity is neither
logical interpretation of Torah nor modern science; just depraved.
17. why do I need evidence?
Michael   (03.11.09)
if my father tells me to be true why shouldn't I believe him ? or my grandfather for that matter. What monetary gain or what gain would my father ave to lie to me. So you are saying I should trust a stranger over my father? In this day in age where morals have been thrown out the windows, I should listen to you?! In ageneration where people will sell anything for a buck? I should demand proof my father and his father's father? why? I will demand proof from you that was born almost 2400 years later that the story didn't exist. Since you can't prove it didn't happen is no proof . Your statement shows extreme arrogance. When you build the time machine let me know.
18. im addicted to your books and try to read
svietka   (03.11.09)
everything that comes out by you. The logic and clearaty with which u write r most inspiring and r a great tool for bettering our lives. thanks for everything-including this short and sweet article
19. Not exactly
David Tsal ,   Anaheim, CA USA   (03.11.09)
I usually cannot stand rabbis, but Adin Steinsaltz is different. This article is great as always. But I have to take exception to this: "Jewish attempts in the last hundreds of years to resolve the problem using opposite means – extreme assimilation on the one hand, and the establishment of an independent state on the other hand – did not resolve the problem, but rather, merely changed or diverted it to other avenues. " The truth is, antisemitism was dying, slowly, until Shimon Peres and company revived it by launching the "peace process." Mos people don't remember any more just how much better things were for Jews in 1992. I remember. The subsequent actions of all Israeli governments have been adding fuel to teh fire of antisemitism. We Jews can be compared to people going north to escape from cold. Will we ever realize that our very forgiveness and willingness to turn the other cheek, to be better than others, is fueling this hatred? Yes, it's crazy, but that's what antisemitism is: illogical and irrational. Wipe out Hamas! Wipe out all 20,000 members. Then invade Lebanon and wipe out Hezbollah! Stop apologizing. Stop groveling. Stop sacrificing one's dignity for peace. And Jews will be respected again. The world loves a victor and hates a wimp. And hates a moralizing wimp the most.
20. I think #15 should be for #14 don't you?
21. # 19 - Not exactly
22. Re: Post #2 and alike
Larry G. ,   Hamilton, Canada   (03.12.09)
Why are you here? Why are you reading an Israeli on-line newspaper? Because you hate! I read Israeli on-line newspapers because I'm Jewish and I like to stay connected to the news in Israel. If I hated black people for example, I would go to every African American, Canadian, etc. black orientated on-line newspaper and just say their a bunch of ignorant 'N' (using the N word). Just replace blacks with Jews and that's why you're reading Israeli on-line newspapers! It's one thing to be anti-Semite but it's another to hate Jews so much that you would deliberately read Israeli on-line newspapers just to make sickening comments! Your hatred is way out of control! If you hate Jews stop hanging around our areas where we congregate (on-line and in real life) and yelling your hatred at us! Just leave us alone you A-hole!
23. to 9
sara ,   jerualem   (03.12.09)
today there is no amalek or haman it is only ...analek analek analek hahahaha ya man .. it is purim or the joke of the feast
24. to 19 and 21
sara ,   jerusalem   (03.12.09)
you seek the respect from the world .i never seek respect from any one but simply i respect myselfe .. believe me it is easier and righter try it personaly for evry day and you will find it is better than begging it by force ormoney it will not cost only to watch your toung and your hand and your heart
25. #14 "Airhead"
Connie ,   Virginia   (03.15.09)
"How can airheads be fooled into accepting such a stupid statement as "logic". Your "logic" no, were smarter than that.
Back to article