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Purim 2011

From hamantashen to designer costumes to newfangled groggers—anything and everything you might need to better enjoy the Festival of Lots

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(Abigail Miller/Tablet Magazine)

On the Bookshelf: From Hodu to Kush: anticipating Purim with books on Persian food, lust-filled kings, and biblical heroines, by Josh Lambert

Be Happy: We’re commanded to be happy on Purim, and it turns out the acts required for proper observance—from donning costumes to celebrating with others—provide useful tricks for brightening moods year round, by Ilana Kurshan

Seriously Groggy: The Purim tradition of drowning out Haman’s name with noise dates back to medieval times. But in our increasingly cacophonous lives, an illustrator wonders: Does the grogger need to be reinvented? By Sarah Lazarovic

Boy, Interrupted,: Purim calls for costumes, and we’re fine with seeing little girls dressed up as boys. But a boy dressed as a girl makes us uncomfortable, thanks to stubborn ideas about gender roles. It shouldn’t. By Marjorie Ingall

Dressed Up: With Purim approaching and a costume in order, seeking sartorial inspiration from the Book of Esther, European paintings, Elizabeth Taylor, and several style gurus, one of whom recommends an edible hat, by Erika Kawalek

Emperor’s New Costume: Tablet Magazine’s illustrated column imagines a nudist crestfallen over the fact that he can’t dress up for Purim. Help him fulfill his dream with do-it-yourself cut-outs. By Liana Finck

Purim FAQ: Everything you ever wanted to know about the story of Esther, by the Editors

Sister in Arms: Playing the defiant Vashti in a day school Purim play awakened my inner feminist, by Elisa Albert

Purimpalooza: The Purim story reset in the kingdom of indie rock, by Vanessa Davis

Unmasked: Has Purim replaced Passover as the best holiday vehicle for expressing individual Jewish identity? By Liel Liebovitz

Top Hamantashen: After a painstaking survey, Tablet Magazine awards title for nation’s tastiest triangular treat, by Jenny Merkin

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When Haman made his evil decree to annihilate all Jews, this was the only time in our history that a descendent of Amalek actually had the ability to carry out such a horrific ruling because all of the Jewish people were living in exile in one realm. The people were unified to the extent that the evil Haman’s hatred of one Jew, Mordechai, was the same as hatred of all. Hence, Esther inspired the Jewish Nation to make Teshuvah in unity as one body and one soul. Today, although we are spread out in all four corners of the Earth by Divine Providence, we are, once again, facing the same type of threat from the modern day Haman, the current prime minister of Persia threatening our Holy Land with nuclear weapons, G-d forbid. Thus, we need to surrender ourselves to the same Jewish unity that saved us before. The unity of our people is attainable now more than ever because internet technology has turned the entire globe into a single realm, leaving us as one people in exile in G-d’s Kingdom with one mind, one heart and one soul, rejoicing over the fact that we are a Holy Nation unto G-d assured of our final redemption with Mashiach. May all of you experience the extreme Joy of a Freilicha Purim, to be blessed with G-d’s abundance and with good health; “For the Jews, there was light and joy, gladness and honor—so let it be with us.”

irani says:

i love my country
only Iran


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Purim 2011

From hamantashen to designer costumes to newfangled groggers—anything and everything you might need to better enjoy the Festival of Lots

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