What do these three things have in common? It is the fascinating story of Esther that the Jewish holiday Purim is about. Yes, we celebrated it last week, but I am still reading an amazing version of Megilla that was originally written in Ladino, http://www.abebooks.com/Meam-Loez-Torah-Anthology-Book-Esther/1398367243/bd.
I have had a relaxing Shabbat, starting with a beautiful dinner in our home with new friends. Today I just could not put down the book, I did make it to synagogue to hear the parsha, lesson of the week. The main point was that everything is good, even if we do not understand it, it could lead to the ultimate good, and whenever we see actual good, we should stop be grateful and say thank you.
So then when I got home, back to the book, I was reading how Haman, who is the bad guy, convinced the king to kill his wife because she refused to obey his orders. Along with killing her, he enacted a new law that women must listen to their husbands, they must learn their husband’s language if they are different nationalities, and if there is conflict, it is punishable by death. I think this is where the idea of a non balanced, male is always right relationship started from, extreme patriarchy.
a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line.
a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.
Then when the king was looking for a new queen, there were the most beautiful women from all of the 127 lands he ruled that were gathered before him. He wanted to choose not only the most beautiful new queen, but the one with the best personality. I think this was the first official BEAUTY PAGEANT!
The word GENOCIDE gets thrown around quite a bit nowadays, and it used to happen on a regular basis during the large empires, Babylonian, Persian, Roman, Ottoman, and there are many more. So during the story of Esther, Haman the bad guy divised a plan to kill every Jew in the whole kingdom, all 127 lands, and the king agreed, and a decree was issued. The words he used were so vulgar, horid, and what is interesting is we hear those words in abundance today on a larger scale about everybody.
Great message below about letting go daily of the negative, and consciously moving into a positive, and happy life:
One of the misconceptions people have about Judaism is the Jewish view
of guilt. Interestingly, if the guilt motivates us to change and
improve, it can play a crucial role in our lives and in our
relationship with the Divine. What the Torah does not want is for us
to allow the guilt to pull us down or for us to use it as an excuse
for not changing. The Talmud teaches us that we should never view
ourselves as “bad”. Our self image should be positive as it is
impossible to relate to the Divine if we do not have a sense of
self-worth. Interestingly, the first act the priests did at the start
of their day in the Temple was to dispose of yesterday’s garbage (Lev
6:3). In fact, this was such a popular mitzvah that they actually
fought with each other for the privilege. This is because they
understood the need to start each day anew with a positive outlook on
themselves and their opportunities. Only then could they fulfill the
role the Almighty had in store for them. That is one of the reasons a
Jew washes his hands first thing in the morning; he should try to wash
away the baggage of the day before. We might have excuses for what we
are right now, but we should not use those excuses for what we remain.
With that realization, we can then say the morning prayer that “the
soul given to me by the Almighty is pure”.
Below is my new flyer,
Women’s Yoga classes in the Pico/Robertson community,
Let’s get healthy together!