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Oscars, Superbowl, Elections & the Year of Purim

Oscars, Superbowl, Elections & the Year of Purim

There's a pattern here, and it could be leading somewhere.


“What’s the inner, deep, kabbalistic meaning of the mess-up at the Oscars this year?” asked David

We were enjoying a Shabbat meal in Los Angeles. David is a friend who works in that world of big screen entertainment while living in a Torah-orientedHis world of the big screen orbits a Torah-observant universe. universe at the same time. So he’s constantly looking for deeper meanings.

As for me, I was looking to buy time so I could think. “What happened at the Oscars?” I asked.

“You know, the best picture of the year award!” he answered. “They announced the one that everyone expected, and then in the middle of all the acceptance speeches, someone came running onstage to announce that it was all wrong.”

“So which picture won?”

“Oh, a small-budget movie that bombed at the box office.”

I’m searching for kabbalistic meaning. Not coming up with much. I don’t quite traverse two worlds as David does. Couldn’t find Elijah the Prophet anywhere to help me, either.

So David went on.“It seems to be a pattern. Like this is the Year of Big Surprises.’’ “It seems to be a pattern. Like the Superbowl. What a comeback! People were walking out, switching off their sets—and then, boom! Everything turned around. Same with the federal elections. And the World Series! And Brexit, too. Well, that one started before Rosh Hashanah. But it still seems like this is the Year of Big Surprises.”

He was looking at me, as though I had an explanation.

“Sounds a lot like Purim,” I said. Hey, I had to say something. “Back in Persia it looked for sure that one side was gonna be the winner. And then—boom—everything was turned upside-down.”

“Yes!” exclaimed David. “It’s a Purim year!”

Now was my chance to sound like I really had an answer. “In the Purim story,” I continued, “after the big turnaround, everything had an explanation. 20/20 hindsight. But in foresight, totally the opposite.”

“Right!” said David. “That’s just what’s been happening this year, again and again!”

“So maybe,” I continued, “that’s the way Moshiach is going to arrive.”

David got it right away. “You mean nobody will expect it. Everyone will see the world going in the opposite direction. And then—boom—everything will turn around. And we’ll see in hindsight how everything was really going that way all along. Despite disaster after disaster, everything in the world was really moving towards its perfection.”

“As long as it happens real soon,” I answered.

“I’ll make l’chaim to that!”“L’chaim to the biggest turnaround in history that will make sense only in retrospect!” said David. “L’chaim to the biggest turnaround in history that will make sense only in retrospect!”


I looked to the door. Elijah could enter any minute.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Files subscription. FaceBook @RabbiTzviFreeman Periscope @Tzvi_Freeman .
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Brenton Rahm August 26, 2017

Not sure that it was our own merit but this is not a test. The one with the speech impediment will speak clearer. He could hear the whole time, but everyone else did not understand what he was saying. This is Elul 5777. Our real work still lies ahead, but fear has given way to an obligation and a tired rooster is still up before sunrise. Reply

David Rankin New Zealand March 14, 2017

Anonymous, Dallas Tx. I have lived a bit longer that you, and read the Prophets. Our desire is for Moschiach now, but there are a few things still to happen before He comes. The world will get worse - yes, that is possible. Anti-Semitism will rear its ugly head again and the nations of the world will go to war against Israel. (See my letter of March 10.) But do not lose hope, G-d has promised that He will not desert Israel, His beloved people. Reply

Anonymous Dallas TX USA March 11, 2017

So if Moshiach arrives soon, please please please first some wisdom on how to do something really basic: how to restore civility to public discourse. I have lived close to seven decades now, and in my lifetime I have never turned on the TV and felt every day like I'm in a bad dream I can't wake up from! Moschiach now! Reply

Chana Cleveland March 11, 2017

Happy Purim all year around! Yes, this is the Year of Purim! Thank you for bringing it up. The upside down happened in my life, my daughter and my parents lives. The optimism and happiness help surviving and bringing better life. G-d watching after us. Happy Purim all year around! Reply

Anonymous March 10, 2017

Amen! Excellent article and very well written! Thanks for posting! Reply

David Rankin New Zealand March 10, 2017

The time of Moshiac Anonymous, March 7. The subject is unexpected events. You say, 'but not in our lifetime guaranteed!'. Overlaying the prophecies of Scripture and the world we live in today your outlook is somewhat over optimistic. Opposition to the continued existence of the nation of Israel has simmered for nearly 70 years, but there are signs that the fire is being stoked, and the Prophet Zechariah says that when it comes to the boil all nations will turn against Israel in all-out war. Israel's only shelter will be in the G-d who promised Abraham "I will bless them that bless you, and I will curse them that curse you." The Prophet also says that the war will be lost by Israel, but Moshiach will step in and fight for His beloved nation, and those who came seeking to destroy Israel will be blown away like dust. Then will great and everlasting peace come upon Jerusalem. Reply

Jo in Newberg Newberg OR March 9, 2017

Oscars Is there any kabbalistic meaning you can derive from the fact that the first film (the mistaken one) was a happy-ending musical with a positive message and hopeful, loving characters in a 1950s-style setting, while the "real" winning film was depressing and had disgusting characters, the lowest of the lowlife in an urban ghetto, going through pain and misery? Reply

Robert Newhouse Stillwater March 9, 2017

Moshiach? I love the creativity of your thoughts Tzvi. But I've been wanting to ask you - in the same vein, what if Moshiach already came just like you described? What if he surprised everyone who was looking for a front door entrance and He slipped in the back door disguised as a vulnerable baby and only a few noticed at the time? What if he actually fulfilled every prophecy written about him, but just not the way everyone expected him to? What if he first came to deliver people from their sin and their carnal nature and promised he'd come again, only this next time in full glory? Reply

Anonymous March 8, 2017

why is there not a 3 day fast against the Haman of our times In Rabbi Yonason Goldson s book Dawn to Destiny he addresses why Esther insisted that the Jews fast "because the crisis stemmed from the Jews' failure to trust Mordechai when they disregarded his prohibition against attending Achashverosh's party and blamed him for not bowing down to Haman. In their minds, refusing a royal decree was the equivalent of committing suicide by arousing the ire of the king. They had favored their own judgment over the judgment of their sages.Esther understood that it was not in her power to save the Jews.Rather, it was up to the Jews to save themselves by correcting the flaw in their own character that had led to the crisis."
This Purim for such a time as these, I find myself wanting to fast for 3 days as a way to combat the Haman in today's world for the sake of Israel and for the United States. What is wrong with me that it burns in me to be emboldened to ask others to join me in an Esther fast for 3 days then celebrate and Why is it only 1 fast day? Reply

Anonymous March 7, 2017

The stock market hitting a new high this year Reply

Anonymous March 7, 2017

It's a step in the process of moshiach which will happen eventually but not in our lifetime guaranteed! Reply

Frank New Orleans, LA March 7, 2017

What's with the "boom"? boom Reply

Anonymous MA March 6, 2017

And I believe the same turn-around took place in Baseball at the cubes 108 year losing-streak, I believe the first World Series won in game-7-overtime. And then in basketball ball championship too, a come-back down 3 games to 1, something's going on. Funny you wrote this, I was thinking along these lines myself, seemed quite obvious, however have not seen it be mentioned anywhere, when is the world going to open up its eyes to see what going on around us? Reply

Chaya Canada March 6, 2017

Thank you Reply

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