How the Quintessential Exilic Holiday Spawned Local Jewish Variants

March 4 2020

The holiday of Purim, which falls next week, celebrates the rescue of Persian Jews from the genocidal viceroy Haman as recounted in the biblical book of Esther. Because of the story’s Diaspora setting and the absence of explicit prophetic involvement, it led to the proliferation of minor, local Purims observed for centuries by Jewish communities who had experienced salvation from danger. Often these communities created scrolls to commemorate the events. Michelle Chesner describes some instances:

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More about: Diaspora, Egypt, French Jewry, Jewish history, Purim

 

The Sinister Attacks on Israeli Offers of Aid to Lebanon

Aug. 10 2020

“The only encouraging thing” about the deadly explosion in Beirut, wrote the former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt on Twitter, “is that even Israel has been quick in offering humanitarian aid.” Had Bildt been better informed, he might have known that there is nothing new or unusual about the Jewish state offering humanitarian assistance to its Arab neighbors—or to more far-flung nations. Yet his bizarre comment was less hostile than the reactions of those who rushed to dismiss the offer as a meaningless public-relations stunt. Lahav Harkov writes:

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Israel diplomacy, Lebanon