SUNDAY REVELATIONS: Purim .. American Jewish Style

Go to a synagogue today and (if you are goyishe) you will think its a mx of Halloween and Mardi Gras .. kids trying to get candy from the rabbi,* lots of noise, adults dressed in stupefying costumes.

Purim officially celebrates the triumph of Queen Esther who became the lover of King Ashueros and seduced him into not killing the Jews of Babylon.  Since then “Purims” have celebrated and commemorate  deliverance of local Jews from a particular antisemitic ruler or group. The best known is Purim Vintz, traditionally celebrated in Frankfurt am Main to commemorate the Fettmilch uprising (1616–1620), in which one Vincenz Fettmilch attempted to exterminate the Jewish community.

Rabbi Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller (1579–1654) of Kraków, Poland, asked that his family henceforth celebrate a private Purim, marking the end of his many troubles, including having faced trumped-up charges.[55] Since Purim is preceded by a fast day, the rabbi also directed his descendants to have a (private) fast day, the 5th day of Tamuz, marking one of his imprisonments (1629), this one lasting for 40 days.[56][57]


*One memory, as a kid.  With my colleagues, I snuck into Adas Israel and found the rabbi’s stash.  Later we found out he was gay though this only would make sense if I could remember what sort of costume he wore, but then we did fond his closet where kept the dandy secret.  We found it.  We gorged ourselves. 

I have no idea of what happened later but when the adults found out the rabbis was gay he disappeared!

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