3/08/2006

Purim Miscellany

Why do we wear Purim costumes?

  1. The popular answer: blah blah blah hester panim blah blah blah

  2. The funky answer: the struggle between Mordechai and Haman is rooted in the struggle between Yaakov and Esav. Yaakov is the first biblical character to dress in a disguise, and he dresses like Esav. The lines must somehow be blurred – ad delo yada – and it’s similar to the process of bechirat yisrael that is re-enacted with the goat every Yom Kippur. The choice must be ‘blind’, like Isaac/justice. I heard an approach along these lines recently from a friend, and now recall that I heard that R’ Shagar wrote a short monograph taking a similar approach.

  3. The real answer: because the goyim (particularly of the Christian variety) wear costumes on Mardi Gras/ Carnival.


In my community, on the night of Purim itself, a left-wing Zionist group running a program together with Peace Now, and talking about the evil settlers, or something. To give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps this is how they fulfill not knowing the difference between arur Haman and baruch Mordechai. But then, for these folks, Purim is all year round.


After reading this post by Mississippi Fred on MY, I hear new meaning in the Talmudic statement (BT Sanhedrin 104b):
The descendents of Haman taught Torah in B’nei Brak.
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