Purim

Check out this terrific blog site. It combines super short and sharp commentaries on the Torah portions + gorgeous images drawn from across the entire canon of western art –Renaissance, Baroque, modern, and contemporary.

120 words of Torah

The two antitheses of spirituality are determinism and chaos. They threaten us with depression and fear, respectively, and in repressing these feelings we become lethargic and cynical. The Purim story plays this out and offers a solution. Haman attacks us with both weapons: he mobilises political and legal systems to make the destruction of the Jews a deterministic certainty; he also picks a date to do so randomly, chaotically (from a pur). Mordechai teaches us the power of faith and happiness. Something might seem hopeless, yet we must act as if it isn’t, otherwise we freeze. The world seems chaotic, yet we must embrace the ridiculousness of it all, celebrate infinite possibilities. The hidden God is revealed in such defiance.

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[Inspired by: Megillat EstherLikutei HalachotOrah Hayim: Purim, 1 ; Nietzsche’s The Gay Science ; and the final sentence of Albert Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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