Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Magnificent Megilah Meme

We have been doing this since 2006

It all began in 2006 when the late, but famous, Ren Reb posted:  Things I think about during magilla reading (besides Russel Crowe).

And though she didn't "tag" me (Ren Reb looks, but she doesn't touch) I thought I'd play along. So here, in no particular order, are some of the thoughts that dance through my sugar and caffeine deprived mind during megillah reading.

* Man, I can lain so much better than this dope. How many more notes is he going to miss? Why don't they ever ask me to read the megillah? I bet it's because I say Achash-vey-rosh instead of Achash-vey-roysh. That's it, I just know it. Well, screw them.*

* Why didn't they have co-ed parties in ancient Persia? I mean, how pious were these people, that Vashti and the women were kept separate from Achashveyrosh and the men? And if all that separation didn't help the ancient court of Persia stay proper and moral, why do 21st century Jews think it's worth doing?

* Hey, it doesn't say anywhere that Vashti was killed. Only that her estate was taken away. I have read the megillah maybe 1000 times. How did I miss that? Suddenly, I feel like an old friend of mine who reached the ripe old age of 30 without realizing that the story of Abraham smashing the idols is nowhere in the Hebrew bible. Or the friend who reacts with shock, horror and disgust whenever he's told that Rashi's understanding of a particular verse is rejected by rabbis of equal stature. It's a little scary how the things we're taught as kids can be so powerful - and misleading.

* Why don't the kids and adults who swarm around the shul looking for handouts on Purim ever say anything when they ask you for your money? They just stick their hand in your face and sort of shake it. You're supposed to guess what they want, and who they are collecting for, I guess. Some of them even do this right in the middle of davening. You can be saying shema, or even shmona esray and some scarecrow will come over and rattle his hand under your nose. My policy is to ignore people who don't speak, and to pummel people who bother me during prayers. I confess I am not as religious as I should be about following this policy, but I plan to work on my shortcoming, so that next year I am ready.

* Esther 4:13-14 is an awesome verse (and I am not just saying that because Ren Reb did, too. ) Aside from all the things RenReb likes about it, I also appreciate the lack of certainty. When Mordichai tells Esther she needs to speak up for her people, he doesn't say,"There are no coincidences! The only reason you became queen is because the Jews need your help!" No. What he says is: "And who knows maybe it's for just this purpose [i.e., to save the Jewish people] that you became queen?" Get that everyone? Mordichai is unsure. And he's not so vulgar as to speak for God, even when his life, and the life of everyone he knows, is on the line. Nowadays, GOP-Jews would probably chastise Mordichai for his lack of faith, ("What do you mean? Of course Esther became queen for the sake of saving the Jews.") but GOP-Jews would have also probably bowed down to Haman, too. ("Come on! The evangelical idol worshippers are our best friends ever! No one loves Jews like they do!")

Keep the meme alive! What did you think about during megillah reading?

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