Purim is a boisterous feast for many Jewish people around the world.
As far as I'm concerned, there's never a bad time to wear a straw boater, suspenders and spats while doing the Charleston and drinking moonshine. But the best time to do so is when thousands of other people are doing the same thing.
As an African-American Jewish woman, I endeavor to see the hand of God in all things. How else do I and my people, both of them, come to be standing here, still whole, after all that has been done to erase and diminish our existence on this earth?
Meet the Purim Cast to Understand What's Happening in Our World Today (Best Screenplay Award Goes to God)
Purim is a great drama. It is also a symbol of what our world can be when we abolish the disunity between us. As then, so now, it has to start from the Jews. "Love your neighbor as yourself" was given to us first.
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.
It is against the backdrop of this very troubled time that the holiday of Purim approaches... and with it, the important message: Do not lose hope for you have been here before.
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.
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.
After almost a century of Dorothy Height making this country and world a more just, equal, and hopeful place she is now in heaven, and the rest of us are now going to have to step it up down here.
When is it appropriate -- and even encouraged -- to show up at your house of worship in full costume, make all kinds of racket, and even get really snockered?