Menachem Mendel

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Archive for Purim

Drinking on Purim

I recently gave a talk about the issue of drinking on Purim in which I tried to show that based upon a reading of rabbinic literature there is no clear mitzvah to get drunk on Purim. The source sheet that I used can be downloaded from here or viewed below.  

Iggeret Haman and Putting the Persia Back into Purim

There are many satirical or parodic compositions associated with Purim. A good overview of these different compositions can be found in Israel Davidson’s Parody in Jewish Literature, pp. 115-147. One of these compositions is Iggeret Haman, “Haman’s Epistle.” There are numerous version’s of Iggeret Haman (see Davidson, pp. 121-123) and Yosef Tobi has written about […]

Purim in Israel Under Austerity

While Israel as a start-up nation is the latest rage, people shouldn’t forget that for a number of years after the founding of the state, Israeli citizens lived under a regime of austerity and rationing, in Hebrew the צנע (Tzena). The amount of food and clothing that a person could buy was limited and determined […]

Rabbah and Rabbi Zeirah-The Blues Version

A blues version of the following Talmudic text (Megillah 7b): אמר רבא מיחייב איניש לבסומי בפוריא עד דלא ידע בין ארור המן לברוך מרדכי רבה ורבי זירא עבדו סעודת פורי׳ בהדי הדדי איבסום קם רבה שחטי׳ לרבי זירא למחר בעא רחמי ואחייה לשנה אמ׳ ליה ניתי מר ונעביד סעודת פורים בהדי הדדי אמ׳ ליה לא […]

The Origins of Purim

The Mukata has posted the translation of an article that was published last year in Makor Rishon on the origins of Purim. The article gives an overview of some theories about the origins of Purim, the canonization of Megillah Esther, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Origins of Ta’anit Esther

See Mitchell First’s post at the Seforim blog on “The Origin of Ta’anit Esther.”

Medicine for Passover

I saw the following advertisement on a website. I wasn’t sure if this was anti-humra medicine, or anti-hametz (hamira) medicine. Although it is a long way until Purim, I wonder what some side effects might be.

Purim: Did It, or Didn’t It Happen?

Dr. Thamar E. Gindin has posted Hebrew summaries of a series of lectures that she gave on the historicity of the Scroll of Esther. The summaries can be found here. Also see this post (Hebrew) on the burial places of Esther and Mordechai by Orli Rahimian.

Purim in Dubai

Since the coverage of the visit to Dubai by certain foreigners is sometimes bordering on the comical, and the apparent quick exit to Iran by some of the above mentioned foreign nationals, a little Purim levity is called for. On a serious note, I’ll be glad to have the Mossad borrow my name to kill […]

Parashat Zachor

This Shabbat is Parashat Zachor, the maftir that grammarians and Torah readers love to ponder upon. For a discussion of the issues related to this Torah reading and the mistaken custom of some synagogues, see here and here. In today’s installment of his program, באופן מילולי, (“Literally Speaking”) Dr. Avshalom Koor discussed a few things-Parashat […]

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