Monday, March 21, 2005

I look forward to Purim. It's all about subversiveness. The megillah is a farce about a foolish king who is a slave of his own caprice. And costumes are not so much role-playing as calling attention to our role-playing the rest of the year.

People are endowed with intellect and self-awareness (vetachserehu me'at me-ha-elokim) but are bound by the same physical limitations -- most notably, mortality -- as animals (mosar ha-adam min ha-behema ayin). Facing up to this contradiction is an unbearable burden and we invent elaborate facades precisely to shield ourselves from it. Purim is the one day on the Jewish calendar that is devoted to to facing the truth. But we need to get drunk to do it. Our drunkenness allows us to face the truth even as it mocks the pretense of our usual sobriety. Religion cleverly co-opts even subversiveness.

A few days before Purim last year, a fundamentalist preacher in Denver, named Brother Gordon, hung a huge sign over the highway near his church. The sign read, "The Jews killed the Lord Jesus". On Purim, thirty drunken Jews in the "Holy City of Bethlehem" phoned Brother Gordon and serenaded him with "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". He assured us that he "lo-o-o-o-oves the Jews". Lo-o-o-o-ove? Wrong holiday, wrong religion. The sign was more like it.


Blogger Rebeljew said...

Right on, as usual.

On Purim, lo yosuf mizar'am, we have the only holiday that will not be nullified by the advent of Moshiach. It is the only unpretentious time that we spend all year.

As the email went, it is the classic Jewish holiday:
They tried to kill us, we beat them. Let's eat. Amend it only slightly. They tried to love us to death, but we survived them. Let's drink.

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you disgusting could you poke fun at the holy megiles esther.i hope you regret it,otherwise you will live to regret it.

1:39 AM  

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