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Was Haman Partially Right? Haman the Accuser and Exilic (un)Consciousness

Purim is an amalgam of things forming a tapestry that the rabbinic imagination weaves together – joining narrative with commemoration – in fascinating and curious ways.
Wikimedia Commons/Yivo Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe
Wikimedia Commons/Yivo Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe
Dr. Shaul Magid is a Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. He is a Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, where he teaches Jewish Studies and Religion, rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue in Sea View, NY, contributing editor to Tablet Magazine and editor of Jewish Thought and Culture at Tikkun Magazine. He is also a member of the American Academy for Jewish Research. Shaul received

“Purim is an amalgam of things, each distinct, together forming a tapestry that the rabbinic imagination weaves together – joining narrative with commemoration – in fascinating and curious ways. Two aspects of the Purim story that this essay focuses on is the relationship between Haman’s accusations against the Jews in Shushan, depicted below in an imaginative Talmudic exchange between Haman and Ahasuerus, and the rabbinic decree to become intoxicated on Purim ‘ad d’lo yada, until one cannot distinguish between cursed Haman and blessed Mordecai. What is the relationship between Haman’s accusations and Jewish intoxication? We could certainly celebrate being saved from national catastrophe with a festive meal and a glass of wine. But the tradition goes further and decrees obligatory excess as appropriate celebration.”

Read the full blog post on Jewschool

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