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Lessons and Insights

Contemporary Messages

The various elements of the Purim story and Purim ritual analyzed and conveyed in an engaging manner, along with contemporary lessons we can apply to our lives in the 21st century.

Purim Is Not Normal
..and neither are the people that celebrate it
Purim in the 21st Century
What message can I take from the celebration of Shushan Purim in my beloved Jerusalem, thousands of miles away? Is it my holiday, or am I merely a bystander while Jerusalemites are making merry?
Why Do Jews Go Berserk on Purim?
Isn’t there a better way to celebrate?
I’ve been doing this Purim thing for a long time, but it still makes no sense to me. Just because “they tried to kill us, but G‑d made a miracle” two and a half thousand years ago, we have to go berserk every year?
9 Life Lessons From Queen Esther
Queen Esther, the heroine of the Purim story and one of the greatest Jewish women in history.
While both Purim and Passover commemorate momentous occasions of Divine deliverance, their respective stories are extremely dissimilar.
The Gilded Cage
On the surface the book of Esther reads as a fable of sorts, filled with drama, suspense and a happy ending. However, keeping in mind that it was written under the rulership and scrutiny of the Persian king, care had to be taken to tell the story without offending sensibilities. A secret tradition passed down orally tells the real story.
The History and Meaning of Hamantaschen
Peeling back the layers of the Purim treats also called oznei Haman
9 Things Every Jew Should Know About the Month of Adar
Known as a month of celebration and happiness, Adar contains the joyous holiday of Purim. But that isn’t the only thing that makes Adar special.
I’m fasting today, but I’ll be feasting tonight.
Making Sense of the Madness
What is it about Purim that makes everything so dramatic?
Diaries of a Damsel in Distress
How to save her people from the royal decree? She had to visit the king. She knew it to be the only way. But how could she? She hadn’t seen the king in recent days, and who knows what his mood would be?
When We Became Jewish
The first time we're ever called "Jews" is in the Purim story. Were we not Jewish before then? Or perhaps the question is: what's the connection between Purim and Judah?
Miracles Masked
Strange is it not? A book of the Bible and not even one explicit reference to G‑d? Why is that? Perhaps we can answer this question with another question....
Purim and Noise
A challenge-free existence creates complacency and lacks depth. But when we turn challenge into an opportunity for growth we become stronger. The festival of Purim has a unique message...
Destiny Unknown
When the artist sets his hands to his craft, he turns his back on perfection, as a warrior turns his back on fear...
The Kabbalah of the Absurd
We all know madness well--we spend a third of our lives insane
Scholar or Statesman?
Mordechai comes across as a true 'renaissance man', respected and adored by his people. But the Talmud reveals a little-known fact...
The Purim Drunk
Surely there are other, more refined and more spiritual ways of celebrating and showing joy?
The Secret of the Hamantash
Wasn’t Haman the guy who wanted to wipe us out? Why would we immortalize him by eating cookies that bear his name?
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