Regarding Purim...

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Gray Rose

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okay this is where it got confusing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esther

Re: Persian law. I would not rely on Wikipedia exclusively. I am not an expert on Persian law, but I can still say that the law could be acted on selectively - we see it in the narrative, as I have mentioned.

It the edict cannot be reversed, then one could also claim in defense of the Jews that the Jews were not responsible for these killings - since they were performed under the duress of the kingly edict. I have never heard anyone claim that. Moreover, the original edict given to Haman allowing the Jews to be killed was reversed, which suggests more malleability than Wikipedia would let us believe. Then again, I am not well-read on this particular topic.

Needless to say, the narrative does not necessarily reflect the original historical occurrence, and we will be well-served by clearly separating the historical event (about which we know nothing) from the narrative we have at hand. What is of interest to us, it seems to me, is the narrative itself and its reception and interpretation in modern religious practice, rather than the original occurrence.

The narrative, I think, shows the Jews retaliating against the people who would kill them, shows the Jews killing hayil 'soldiers', does not show Jews kill women and children, and does not show Jews pillaging. And this is how we celebrate this event. It is a defensive victory with admitted loss of enemy life, however the emphasis of this holiday is different. We fast for Esther, who is fasting and praying for G-d to deliver the Jews from a seemingly hopeless situation, which miraculously happens. The celebration is therefore that of a miracle, and of divine providence. While the aftermath of this divine providence may seem less than savory, it is not the essence of this holiday, nor is it, IMHO, unsavory given general human experience and in particular the practices of the region.

Which is not to say the modern Jew has no problem with this. There is a problem. The problem is one of defensive violence versus nonviolence. The holocaust, which you can consider an example of how Jews behave without the divine providence, is a very good example of a nonviolent reaction to violence aimed at the Jewish people. And we all know what the result of this was - the end of Ashkenazi Jewry as we knew it, the death of Yiddish and the amazing secular vernacular culture it has produced, etc, etc. In case of Purim (and the Bar-Kokhba revolt, another apocryphal narrative) we have an example of active defense. I think it is a problem humanity in general, not just Jewry, faces quite often.

Hope this helps.
 

Bravo

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thank you for your informative posts
 
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Bravo, you are the Haman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:ROFL:


I love when Bravo asks sincere questions about Judaism in an attempt to educate himself.






:rolleyes:

Happy Purim and happy easter!

Sadly, I knew nothing of getting drunk on Purim until yesterday.

It should be promoted like St. paddy's day and cinco de Mayo if you ask me.
 
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Bravo : I forgot to respond to you regarding the celebration of Holocaust. We do not celebrate Holocaust because there was no delivery for the Jews at that time, either through G-d or through human beings.

What about Oskar Schindler?

There should be a Schindler Day IMO.
 

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You could say that Passover, too, is another holiday celebrating success, with admitted loss of enemy life. That time it did include children, which is openly stated. (The death of the Egyptian firstborn, for those who don't know.) Rose made the important point that there is the eternal question for any group that faces annihilation or enslavement: what is the cost of our survival or freedom?

But in the end, Purim is just about getting ridiculously wasted and running around in a stupid costume.
 

semilargeintestine

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While I could see how one might see tones of anti-Semitism in bravo's original post, I think if one looks at his other post, it can be seen that it is just his way of asking questions. I really don't think bravo would come onto the Jewish forum and ask a question to try and bait us into admitting to celebrating the genocide of a people (although I would then ask why it is okay for Arabs to celebrate each time a Jew is killed and call for the extermination of our entire population, but that's a different thread).

Anyway, on to Purim. You can sum it up like this. Esther was a beautiful Jewish woman living in Persia. She was taken by the King of Persia to become part of his harem. He liked her more than any of the other woman, and made her his queen. He did not know Esther was a Jew because her cousin Mordecai (who raised her) warned her not to reveal the truth.

Haman, the King's evil advisor, disliked Mordecai and the Jews because they refused to bow to him. He convinced the King to allow him to deal with them, and plotted their extermination. Mordecai convinced Esther to speak to the King about the fate of the Jewish people, and she approached him knowing full well that she could be put to death for doing so. He welcomed her, and later she explained the situation. The King sentenced Haman to death, and he was hanged at the gallows prepared for Mordecai.

Purim is celebrated on the 14th of Adar (during a leap year, there are two months of Adar, and Purim is celebrated during Adar II so that it is a month before Passover). The 13th is when Haman had decided the Jews would be exterminated. The King gave the Jews permission to defend themselves, and they did so on the 13th, preventing their extermination. The next day, there was a celebration. Note that in cities that were walled during the time of Joshua, deliverance from the massacre was not received until the following day; therefore, those cities even now celebrate Purim on the 15th, known as Shushan Purim.

We are commanded to eat, drink, and be merry on Purim to celebrate our deliverance from what appeared to be certain extermination. The Talmud states that one should get drunk until he can no longer tell the difference between "cursed be Haman" and "blessed be Mordecai." :D

The holiday boils down to this (and someone already said this): Someone tried to kill us. They failed. Let's eat (although I'd say, Let's celebrate.)

No one is celebrating the death of anyone. If no one attacked us, there would be no holiday because no one would have died. It is like that with a lot of situations related to Judaism.

Fun fact: my birthday on the Jewish calendar is the date of the Purim celebration. :D
 

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Do you think that Purim inspired any of the costumed-ness of Halloween?
 

semilargeintestine

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As far as I know, they have nothing to do with each other (well obviously Halloween wouldn't have influenced Purim). The costumes worn on Purim have meaning. They reflect the theme of the Megillah. Halloween is just about candy.

We get drunk on Purim. :D
 

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Halloween's costumes have meaning too, don't they? Don't ask me what they are, but I think they had origins in something spiritual or superstitious or something.
 

semilargeintestine

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I dunno. I was born on Purim, so I naturally like it better. Also, I don't celebrate Halloween, so there you go.
 

mayamolly

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I'm researching a novel on Esther right now, and I think Bravo's question is great-- that had always bothered me in reading the Megilla. However, I feel I understand the story better now. I haven't read every post in this thread carefully, so I'm sorry if I'm repeating what has already been said--

1. As others said, Ahashverosh's initial decree was unalterable. However, this initial decree did not say that the Persian army (which was incredibly powerful) would carry out this genocide, but that the people in all the provinces of the Persian empire were freed on that day to kill all the Jews and plunder their property. Up until this point, Jews were given remarkable freedom in the Persian empire (in contrast to the Babylonian empire), so this decree represented a sharp departure from the policies of religious freedom (kinda) that had enabled Jews to gain significant power and wealth.

2. The Persian empire was huge and basically included all Jews, everywhere-- so this is a Final Solution of the worst kind. Haman was somewhat brilliant in giving peoples everywhere an excuse to murder and steal from a group of wealthy outsiders in the Persian empire... this kept the Persian army from doing "dirty work." This meant, though, that the Persian king wouldn't benefit from this act, so Haman himself paid the King a HUGE sum to offset any lost income. This all goes to show the depth of Haman's hatred, which went beyond any kind of selfish gain-- and his confidence in the existence of a wellspring of anti-Semitism throughout the Persian Empire to carry out his genocidal plan.

3. When Esther realized that this decree could not be repealed, she attempted to issue a counter-decree-- that rather than the Persian army tacitly allowing this genocide and robbery (as did the Russian army during Eastern European pogroms), the Persian army would actively back (and probably arm) the Jews in self-defense. Moreover, this decree stated that the Jews had permission to fight back against their attackers and plunder all the belongings of their attackers. In other words, it was as close to a complete symbolic reversal of the decree as possible. As this decree, too, was widely publicized, its intent was to prevent these attacks on the Jewish people from taking place. (However, note that the Persian army could not directly have punished the attackers because the attacks were permitted in the first place by Persian law. It's a very messed up situation-- the ONLY recourse in case of attack was for Jews to kill or be killed.)

4. So the day of the "lots" comes, and STILL thousands rise up to kill the Jews for no reason other than greed (stealing the Jews' possessions) and hatred of a people who were different. The Jews are allowed to defend themselves, though, and they are armed-- so this is a bit like giving the inmates of Auschwitz or the Warsaw Ghetto weapons to fight off the Nazis. The numbers of the people the Jews WERE forced to kill speaks of the depth of the danger the Jews were in-- only the hard-core radical anti-Semites remained, as the Jews were now only being attacked by people who were disregarding the change in Persian favor, yet it's STILL a huge number. So while it's horrible that so many people died, those killed were hardly innocent... and it is a miracle that the Jewish people survived this most dangerous attack on our existence. (I'm semi-convinced the story is true, btw. If nothing else, the details of the Persian court are mostly accurate!)

5. In a final moral victory, the Jews deliberately ignored the portion of the second decree (the one in their favor) that said THEY were allowed to plunder the belongings of their attackers. Instead, the Jews simply fought off all those who insisted on still attacking them, but refused to gain economically from the deaths of these attackers.

I'll admit I wish the book of Esther had something in it like the line after the Egyptian army perished in the Red Sea-- i.e., "My people are dying, and you celebrate?" Still, after thinking and reading a lot more about this book, I appreciate why this is a celebration and a miracle.

Just my thoughts!

Maya
 
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mayamolly

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As far as I know, they have nothing to do with each other (well obviously Halloween wouldn't have influenced Purim). The costumes worn on Purim have meaning. They reflect the theme of the Megillah. Halloween is just about candy. :D

Heh, say that to all the Israeli teenagers who flock to the mall to show off their costumes on Purim... I didn't see any Queen Esther or Uncle Mordechai, but I did see sexy nurse, sexy honey bee, sexy soccer player, and even (this was the most bizarre) sexy santa. :) Ah well. I think some of that is halloween's influence seeping back into Purim. I posted a picture on my blog-- http://howtobeisraeli.blogspot.com/2009/03/lesson-14-happy-purim-now-go-to-mall.html

Then there was the community parade featuring kids from local elementary schools dressed up as traffic signals. That was interesting.

I love Purim, though!
 

semilargeintestine

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I'm researching a novel on Esther right now, and I think Bravo's question is great-- that had always bothered me in reading the Megilla. However, I feel I understand the story better now. I haven't read every post in this thread carefully, so I'm sorry if I'm repeating what has already been said--

1. As others said, Ahashverosh's initial decree was unalterable. However, this initial decree did not say that the Persian army (which was incredibly powerful) would carry out this genocide, but that the people in all the provinces of the Persian empire were freed on that day to kill all the Jews and plunder their property. Up until this point, Jews were given remarkable freedom in the Persian empire (in contrast to the Babylonian empire), so this decree represented a sharp departure from the policies of religious freedom (kinda) that had enabled Jews to gain significant power and wealth.

2. The Persian empire was huge and basically included all Jews, everywhere-- so this is a Final Solution of the worst kind. Haman was somewhat brilliant in giving peoples everywhere an excuse to murder and steal from a group of wealthy outsiders in the Persian empire... this kept the Persian army from doing "dirty work." This meant, though, that the Persian king wouldn't benefit from this act, so Haman himself paid the King a HUGE sum to offset any lost income. This all goes to show the depth of Haman's hatred, which went beyond any kind of selfish gain-- and his confidence in the existence of a wellspring of anti-Semitism throughout the Persian Empire to carry out his genocidal plan.

3. When Esther realized that this decree could not be repealed, she attempted to issue a counter-decree-- that rather than the Persian army tacitly allowing this genocide and robbery (as did the Russian army during Eastern European pogroms), the Persian army would actively back (and probably arm) the Jews in self-defense. Moreover, this decree stated that the Jews had permission to fight back against their attackers and plunder all the belongings of their attackers. In other words, it was as close to a complete symbolic reversal of the decree as possible. As this decree, too, was widely publicized, its intent was to prevent these attacks on the Jewish people from taking place. (However, note that the Persian army could not directly have punished the attackers because the attacks were permitted in the first place by Persian law. It's a very messed up situation-- the ONLY recourse in case of attack was for Jews to kill or be killed.)

4. So the day of the "lots" comes, and STILL thousands rise up to kill the Jews for no reason other than greed (stealing the Jews' possessions) and hatred of a people who were different. The Jews are allowed to defend themselves, though, and they are armed-- so this is a bit like giving the inmates of Auschwitz or the Warsaw Ghetto weapons to fight off the Nazis. The numbers of the people the Jews WERE forced to kill speaks of the depth of the danger the Jews were in-- only the hard-core radical anti-Semites remained, as the Jews were now only being attacked by people who were disregarding the change in Persian favor, yet it's STILL a huge number. So while it's horrible that so many people died, those killed were hardly innocent... and it is a miracle that the Jewish people survived this most dangerous attack on our existence. (I'm semi-convinced the story is true, btw. If nothing else, the details of the Persian court are mostly accurate!)

5. In a final moral victory, the Jews deliberately ignored the portion of the second decree (the one in their favor) that said THEY were allowed to plunder the belongings of their attackers. Instead, the Jews simply fought off all those who insisted on still attacking them, but refused to gain economically from the deaths of these attackers.

I'll admit I wish the book of Esther had something in it like the line after the Egyptian army perished in the Red Sea-- i.e., "My people are dying, and you celebrate?" Still, after thinking and reading a lot more about this book, I appreciate why this is a celebration and a miracle.

Just my thoughts!

Maya

The story of Esther serves to show us what G-d's presence is like in a world where Jews are trying to assimilate and nearly all thought of our Forefathers and the Land of Israel are gone.

We can see this in the two types of miracles G-d performs. The first is the open miracle where G-d suspends the laws of nature (which He created) in order to perform a miracle, such as the parting of the Sea of Reeds or stopping the setting sun so that Joshua could lead the Jews to victory.

The other type of miracle is perfectly displayed in Megillat Esther. It is the type where G-d works with the laws of nature to facilitate certain events from happening in the way they need to happen. This helps our understanding of why such a secular book is included in the Bible.

First and foremost, G-d's Name appears nowhere in the Megilla, even when it is to be expected: "If you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another source" (Esther 4:14). Rather than attributing the Jews' potential salvation directly to G-d, Mordekhai merely refers ambiguously to a "different source." Furthermore, when ordering the public fast upon her Jewish subjects, Esther omits any reference to prayer: "Go, assemble all the Jews who live in Shushan, and fast in my behalf; do not eat or drink for three days. I and my maidens will observe the same fast" (4:16). Furthermore, the queen makes no mention of the unusual timing of the three-day fast, in the middle of the festival of Pesach.

The Megilla also provides no information regarding the religious observance, or lack thereof, of the Jews of the time. We know nothing about them, other than their identity as "Yehudim," Jews. The Megilla does not even explain why Mordekhai risks his life by refusing to prostrate himself before Haman, other than the fact that "he told them that he was a Jew." Such an explanation is in order, given the ample precedent for the permissibility of bowing down before another person (the prophet Natan bows down before King David - Melakhim I 1:23) and the ruling of the Rambam (Hilkhot Melakhim 2:8) that one may bow down before a king. Although Chazal offer various halakhic reasons for Mordekhai's refusal, the Megilla does not enlighten us on this issue.

In a similar vein, we are given no explanation of Haman's decree, other than the nationality of the people involved - "for they told him Mordekhai's nationality" (3:6). This also serves as the sole explanation offered to the people's rescue. Haman's wife and advisors remark, "If Mordekhai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish stock, you will not overcome him; you will fall before him to your ruin" (6:13). The Jews comprise a unique phenomenon; this is all we know. The Megilla offers no philosophical or spiritual basis for this enigma.

In addition, the historicity of the Megilla seems deliberately indifferent to world events of the time. It pretty much ignores that major historical events of Achashevrosh's reign. Why is the Megilla written in this way, almost completely opposite of the rest of the Tanakh? As opposed to the depiction of the Almighty's reign and His Providence over mankind, the Megilla illustrates--with obvious hyperbole--a kingdom which constitutes the antithesis of the Divine Kingdom, a kingdom devoid of any sacred quality and of anything associated with the Name of G-d.

Thus, we have the reason for Megillat Esther's inclusion in the Tanakh. It answers the question: who rules in an upside-down world? Without this book, it would seem that G-d is only present when spiritual legitimacy is obvious and the Divine Presence is clear to everyone in the world, i.e., as in Biblical times.

Think about the story. Everything just seems to happen by chance. People are in the right places at the right times, hearing or saying the right things at the proper moments. Seems to be a giant string of fortunate coincidences, right? There is a reason we say the blessing, "Who made miracles for our father in those days at this time..." The so-called "coincidences" are the miracles. G-d pushes us and moves us in the right direction so that we are able to fulfill our mission in this world. Whether we recognize it or not, He is always there controlling the world. In fact, while His name is not outright written in the book, it is encoded within the text many, many times. Even the book's major character is an allusion to the hidden Face of G-d in this type of world, for Esther means "hidden" in Hebrew.
 

semilargeintestine

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Heh, say that to all the Israeli teenagers who flock to the mall to show off their costumes on Purim... I didn't see any Queen Esther or Uncle Mordechai, but I did see sexy nurse, sexy honey bee, sexy soccer player, and even (this was the most bizarre) sexy santa. :) Ah well. I think some of that is halloween's influence seeping back into Purim. I posted a picture on my blog-- http://howtobeisraeli.blogspot.com/2009/03/lesson-14-happy-purim-now-go-to-mall.html

Then there was the community parade featuring kids from local elementary schools dressed up as traffic signals. That was interesting.

I love Purim, though!

That's because you're talking about Israelis. Ironically, they are probably the most secular Jews in the world for the most part.
 

mayamolly

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The story of Esther serves to show us what G-d's presence is like in a world where Jews are trying to assimilate and nearly all thought of our Forefathers and the Land of Israel are gone.

I completely agree, and this is what I find so fascinating about this book. Without going too far (and pressing modern issues on this ancient book), the Jews at the time were struggling with many of the same issues we face today. The Jews' danger within the Persian empire (at least until Haman came along) was that it was SO open to them; it was tempting to assimilate fully and lose what it meant to be Jewish.

The Book of Daniel offers such a striking contrast to the Book of Esther, even though the two stories take place in the same city less than 200 years apart. Daniel refused to eat treyf and risked death multiple times because he had absolute confidence that G-d would save him. It's unlikely that Esther could have refused unkosher food, however, and she fears walking before the King-- let alone going into a lions' den or fiery furnace. She lives in a world where G-d's presence seems to have withdrawn, and humans are forced to enact their own miracles. G-d's plan is clearly at work, but it must have seemed very unclear to the Jews at the time.

Oh the other hand, there certainly were very devout Jews in Shushan at the time, so I've read some historical accounts that feel the secularity of the Book of Esther is artificial-- when you read Ezra and Nehemiah (both from Shushan around the time of Esther) you see the strong movement of devout Jews. Then you read the list of foreign wives that Ezra insisted be cast out from the group of Jews who chose to return to Judah, and you see the extent of the assimilation that Ezra fought against.

My protagonist will be a Jewish girl who is taken as Vashti's servant at a young age, and who comes to feel more loyal to Vashti than to the Jewish people-- leading to a personal struggle when she learns of Esther's identity and Haman's plan. I might even use the midrashic stories of how Vashti forced Jewish women to dance naked on Shabbat. These were supposed to demonstrate Vashti's cruelty, but perhaps this girl would have done so willingly as she grew further from her roots. I'm still in the planning/researching stages, though, and I'd love to discuss this story more with you!

Btw, here's Shushan (known as Susa or Shush) today-- that's the tomb of Daniel (a Muslim shrine) in the foreground!

239238755_3e1eeceabb_o.jpg


~Maya
 
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mayamolly

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Btw, do any of you have theories about why Mordechai didn't bow down before Haman? Here are a few I've read or come up with:

1. Ancient grudge-- Haman was a descendant of Agag (hence "Haman the Agagite"), king of the Amalekites, and thus was part of the Amalekite tradition of brutal Antisemitism. Mordechai, on the other hand, was a descendant of King Saul (son of Kish), who defeated Agag. I don't really buy that this would be a powerful enough reason for Mordechai to do something so radical. especially since Mordechai clearly knew how to play the political game. (He didn't just SIT at Shushan's gate-- he worked there. He was a powerful bureaucrat.)

2. Haman had an image of an idol on his chest, so by bowing down before Haman, Mordechai would be bowing down before an idol. If this were the reason, why wouldn't the story just say so? Also, Mordechai was very clever, so he probably could have avoided this confrontation-- say, by not being around when Haman goes past. Mordechai seems deliberately provocative to me.

3. Personal grudge-- for one thing, Haman was promoted to royal vizier in place of Mordechai, when Mordechai was the one who revealed the plot against the king and should have been promoted. Maybe Mordechai was trying to personally provoke Haman and it got out of hand. Still doesn't make too much sense, though. For one thing, why then would others have told Haman that Mordechai refused to bow because he was JEWSIH?

4. Haman's reputation preceded him-- Haman clearly was a man of immense wealth and power, and one of the best ways to gather this power was by serving as a Satrap, a ruler of one of the regions of Persia. Satraps were supposed to gather a certain amount of taxes to pass on to the King, and then they could keep excess taxes for themselves. For Haman to gain so much power, he would have been a brutal Satrap indeed. Possibly he even personally tormented the Jews under his rule-- maybe Esther's parents died at his hand, for example. This is my personal favorite. From a literary perspective, it creates an interest backstory, and it means that Mordechai for once took an ethical stand. Until this point, everything he has done seems to be purely self-interest. However, I could imagine Mordechai refusing to bow before a man of such cruelty, cost what it might.

I'm open to suggestions, though. Any thoughts? I'm also still confused about the second day of fighting inside Shushan, so any enlightenment there would also help.
 

mayamolly

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That's because you're talking about Israelis. Ironically, they are probably the most secular Jews in the world for the most part.

That's what I thought before aliyah, but I don't think so anymore. To be a "secular Jew" in Israel means something very different from a secular Jew in the US. A secular Jew here might dress as a sexy ladybug on Purim, but she certainly knows what Purim stands for and looks forward to Mishloach Manot, candy, and maybe even a megilla reading. I grew up as a secular Jew in the US and for the longest time had no idea there were Jewish holidays other than Chanukah and Passover... Secular Jews here, on the other hand, have studied the Torah and celebrate almost all the holidays, albeit more culturally than religiously. I taught Hebrew school in the US to kids who didn't know what Shavuot was because it happened during the summer when they weren't going to Hebrew school, and they never learned about Jewish holidays at home. Here, on the other hand, cream cheese goes on sale in early June and the stores still run out because everyone's at home preparing dairy meals (or, if they're in Tel Aviv, running around all night in white clothing going to concerts and lectures! Secular, but still celebrating the holiday). And don't forget all the casual references to Judaism in Israeli speech-- i.e., Sunday is known as the "First Day" (Yom Rishon), Monday as the second, etc. Kids on the street call each other "Ben Adam," son of Adam. I saw a gym membership ad that was parodying the four sons (wise, wicked, innocent, and the one who doesn't know how to ask). It might be a bad thing that Judaism is commercialized and made part of ordinary life in Israel, but I do feel very connected to Judiasm and Jewish culture here-- I think a secular Israeli is far LESS secular than most American Jews, despite our bad reputation. :)

Judaism in Israel definitely has its issues... but that's a whole other thread, and I think I'm WAY over my quota for the day already.
 
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semilargeintestine

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That's what I thought before aliyah, but I don't think so anymore. To be a "secular Jew" in Israel means something very different from a secular Jew in the US. A secular Jew here might dress as a sexy ladybug on Purim, but she certainly knows what Purim stands for and looks forward to Mishloach Manot, candy, and maybe even a megilla reading. I grew up as a secular Jew in the US and for the longest time had no idea there were Jewish holidays other than Chanukah and Passover... Secular Jews here, on the other hand, have studied the Torah and celebrate almost all the holidays, albeit more culturally than religiously. I taught Hebrew school in the US to kids who didn't know what Shavuot was because it happened during the summer when they weren't going to Hebrew school, and they never learned about Jewish holidays at home. Here, on the other hand, cream cheese goes on sale in early June and the stores still run out because everyone's at home preparing dairy meals (or, if they're in Tel Aviv, running around all night in white clothing going to concerts and lectures! Secular, but still celebrating the holiday). And don't forget all the casual references to Judaism in Israeli speech-- i.e., Sunday is known as the "First Day" (Yom Rishon), Monday as the second, etc. Kids on the street call each other "Ben Adam," son of Adam. I saw a gym membership ad that was parodying the four sons (wise, wicked, innocent, and the one who doesn't know how to ask). It might be a bad thing that Judaism is commercialized and made part of ordinary life in Israel, but I do feel very connected to Judiasm and Jewish culture here-- I think a secular Israeli is far LESS secular than most American Jews, despite our bad reputation. :)

Judaism in Israel definitely has its issues... but that's a whole other thread, and I think I'm WAY over my quota for the day already.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that Israelis have no knowledge of religious Judaism. I just meant that they aren't on average religious. Your second to last statement is spot on though. Secular Israelis are far more religious than secular American Jews. I love Israelis by the way. :)

Where do you live? I will be in Yerushalayim at the end of the month for 2 weeks.
 

mayamolly

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I live in the Krayot, just north of Haifa. Will you make it up north? If so, come visit! I love Israelis too... and I love Chabadnikim. My husband and I met at a Chabad house, and our Chabad rabbi officiated at our wedding. :)
 

semilargeintestine

BassGirl 5000
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מזל טוב!

בע''ה I will be up north to Tzfat for a Shabbos. I'd love to visit if I have the chance.
 
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