The book recording this event is known as the Scroll of Esther
and is the only book in the Bible in which God's name does not appear even once
Those ways include the handing out of gifts, generous donations to charity, drinking until one can't distinguish between the hero Mordechai and the villain Haman (although many opinions make clear this means to drink more than usual, not to literally get drunk), and reading the Scroll of Esther
(Megillat Esther in Hebrew), which tells the story of Purim and is named after the Jewish heroine and queen of Persia who helped turn Haman's genocidal plot on its head.
This week, Daf Yomi readers began a new tractate, Megilla, which deals with the holiday of Purimthe day on which we read the Megilla or Scroll of Esther
Soon into reading the Scroll of Esther
, one finds oneself thinking, "temper, temper
The humorous side to Purim comes out during the reading of the scroll of Esther
, the main mitzvah of Purim.
Presenting a series of dysfunctional couples and one rather odd Jewish "couple," the scroll of Esther
conveys the dysfunctionality of diasporic life itself.
I offer the following as a possible explanation to account for the church's equating of Haman as a pseudonym for Jesus, which in all probability was the basis of its rejection of the Scroll of Esther
Seizing on the transformative choices made by both of the story's strong women, Vashti and Esther, Broner demonstrates the myriad ways that the Scroll of Esther
contributes to the maintenance of a separatist woman's identity.
In the first chapter of the Scroll of Esther
, after feasting and drinking for seven days, King Ahasuerus calls for Queen Vashti to display her beauty to the drunken throngs of his guests.
It also affords a peek at the sisters' relationship with their Judaism: Seeing a beautiful scroll of Esther
piled next to a silver Buddha, one gets the sense that forms, much more than the spirit, were the Cones' true passion.
There is a different mode for the scroll of Esther
that we read on Purim, which is coming up this month, and different ones for Ruth and Lamentations.
Purim, which began this past Saturday evening, recalls the events of the biblical Scroll of Esther