Purim’s violent side


ed note–at the risk of engaging in shameless self-promotion, please read the piece I wrote last year dealing with the violent aspects of Jewish religious celebrations such as Purim here


I’ve recently had to accept a fact of Judaism: many of our holidays include celebrations of violence. Hanukkah celebrates the military victory over the Greeks; Passover includes praise for God for killing the Egyptians in the Red Sea; and the modern Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, treated by many as not only a national holiday, but a Jewish holiday, celebrates the military victory of the Israeli forces over the neighboring Arab forces.

Yet, despite the inherent pain caused to others in these holidays, I celebrate every one of them, and I celebrate them unapologetically. I celebrate the freedom associated with Passover, the triumph of light of Hanukkah, and the existence of an independent state of Israel. My celebration of these holidays does not need to diminish my awareness of the pain associated with them, and, in fact, the opposite is true: I make sure that as happy as I am, I remain aware of the suffering of others, particularly when that suffering exists today in my own backyard.

Purim, however, feels different. Purim has no shortage of violence toward others. Megilat Esther describes the Jews killing tens of thousands of “enemies” as a way of preventing their own genocide. While these killings disturb me, they appear as a necessary evil. Indeed, the celebration of Purim occurs on the day in which the Jews rest from their defense. While it certainly makes sense that the Jews could only celebrate their victory on the day following the fighting, I take comfort in the juxtaposition of the text, in which the celebration looks like a result of the rest. In this exegetical reading, the true celebration was not in the slaying of enemies, as the text describes them, but in the ability to rest. In short, the Jews only celebrated once their survival was no longer dependent upon harming others.

If the killing of others were the only problematic aspect of the Esther text, this explanation might suffice for me. However, the Jews’ redemption is based not only their defensive killings of others, but also on a series of acts of violence toward women. First, Queen Vashti is banished from the kingdom not only for refusing to perform sexually before the king and his guests, but because of the poor example she would set by allowing women to refuse their husbands’ commands. Then Esther is sent to the king’s harem by no choice of her own, where, even after becoming queen, the most favored of all of the king’s wives and concubines, she understands that approaching him of her own volition means risking death.

I cannot simply accept that these acts were necessary in order to secure the Jewish people’s redemption, and I am not ready to celebrate Purim without acknowledging that there is no place for glorifying violence toward women in my celebration. And that is precisely why I do not celebrate Purim in a vacuum; I also observe its corollary, with the fast of Esther.

The sages considered the fast of Esther such an integral part of Purim that they decreed that the fast would be held even in the messianic era, when all of the fasts related to the destruction of the Temple are to become days of celebration. While there are a number of explanations for why Jews fast on the day before Purim, all of the reasons include the need for a day of reflection before the unbridled celebration of the Purim holiday.

It is time the Jewish people start to view Purim as a two-day holiday. Whether or not one chooses to fast, or observe the Fast of Esther in a different way, all who celebrate Purim should devote a day to thinking about how the joy in our lives might be a result of actions or circumstances which we would rather do without. We cannot have our day of fun, dressing up in costumes, and eating and drinking to our heart’s content, without some time for reflection first.

Arie Hasit, a student at the rabbinical seminary of Machon Schechter, serves as the spiritual leader for NOAM- the youth wing of the Masorti Movement in Israel. He lives in Jerusalem.

  1. #1 by Doug Wagner on 02/21/2013 - 9:34

    The Jewish holidays are all based on fictitious violence. None of all this nonsense ever happened, the events were created out of whole cloth to try to compensate for their feelings of inadequacy.

    And as a modern reference point I offer the mindlessly violent fairy tale, Inglourious Basterds, which had it been penned hundreds of years ago would today be celebrated as another wonderful, fictional, Jewish holiday

  2. #2 by CK on 02/21/2013 - 9:34

    Purim – the celebration of a fairytale Jewish whore who started a massacre of Gentiles. I’ve heard Christian preachers call her a heroine who saved her people; a woman we should emulate. The church has been bagel-whipped.

  3. #3 by 1bigcree Shadowhawk on 02/21/2013 - 9:34

    It’s good to see the commentators here know their history. The Judaic mind is set on fantasy. Thus their creation of such tales in which their heroes & heroines conquer an enemy bent on erasing them. This meme has been the focal point for such stories of Jewish Conquest over a most feared and able Adversary. We can look at many of these and see the same basic scenario. David & Goliath, Esther, and then the recent Hollywood renderings like Inglorious Basterds, Schindlers List, etc. The writer of the above Article is only attempting to sugarcoat this wanton drive for bloody massacres of the gentile where all are slaughtered in a most violent way. They act out this bloodlust during Purim. And I have read some real life stories of the disappearance of Gentile children during this time of year where there are heavy concentrations of Judaic followers i.e. Jews who adhere to such a Cult of hatred, barbarism, debauchery & mayhem. The Talmud of course and the Old Testament. It’s pathetic let alone despicable.

  4. #4 by Jolly Roger on 02/22/2013 - 9:34

    I guess someday the Jews will have a holiday for how they’re presently “defending themselves” from the Palestinians, but I’ll celebrate the day when the finally stop attacking people and robbing them while claiming eternal victim-hood to cover their crimes. Another day I’d like to celebrate would be the day when every last one of them was kicked out of America for subverting the government through bribery and blackmail, draining its wealth through usury, and undermining the culture with their endless pornography and sexual deviance.

  5. #5 by Blake on 02/22/2013 - 9:34

    A self absorbed lot are our self chosen rosens

  6. #6 by farang on 02/22/2013 - 9:34

    Purim should “feel different” to this author: it is stolen Vedic mythical tradition. In fact, it is much more ancient Vedic (Hindu) “Puranic” myth of the status and supremacy battles of “gods and goddesses.” Purim: King Mordecai wants his queen, Vashti, to strip and show her beauty to a court visitor, she refuses, he replaces her with Esther, who battles a Prince Haman.

    Esther is Easter Is Istar. Vashti is Vach, the Vedic Mother Goddess. Mordecai is Marduk, the Babylonian Sun God (Ra/Rama). Haman is Haruman, the BFF Monkey god companion of the top Vedic god: Indra. (Ra is an “aspect” of Indra. as are all the gods of the Hindu/Vedic…there is only ONE GOD to them).

    Further, Jewish “patriarch” Abram (later Abraham) is in reality A Brahmin, a priest of Brahma. His old dried up hag wife Sarah? The dried up river (from drought circa 1800 BC) in northwestern India: Sarasvati. His other wife, Haggar? A tributary (where the tribe migrated to when the Sarasvati dried up…ya see???) called Ghaggar.

    Further…the so-called “magical showdown” (only Egyptian religion practiced “magic spells” in the Middle eastern cultures, btw…) between “YWH’s priest Elijah and the priests of Ba’al?? Well, first Elijah, according to Jewish scholars…means “god is YWH”…but they are intentionally deceiving you. It does NOT: it means “God (El) is the MOON.” You see…Ya/Iah is the Egyptian MOON GOD. They do not want that known…as that reveals…the reality: Judaism is a blend of ancient religions from India to Egypt.

    You see, like the author reveals, there is considerable violence in these myths..Elijah has the “magic throwdown” with ba’al priests…and according to the Jews…”wins and seizes the moment..and SLAUGHTERS 4000 of Ba’al priests. Just one *tiny* problem with this tale: It is actually the long-fought battle of the Elohim: Yam vs Ba’al, the SONS of EL…that hated each other.

    From Wikipedia: “Yam was the god of the sea, and became popular in the Ancient Egyptian times. Yam, from the Canaanite word Yam, (Hebrew ים) meaning “Sea”, also written “Yaw”, is one name of the Ugaritic god of Rivers and Sea. ” And: “Yam is the deity of the primordial chaos and represents the power of the sea untamed and raging; he is seen as ruling storms and the disasters they wreak. The gods cast out Yam from the heavenly mountain Sappan (modern Jebel Aqra; “Sappan” is cognate to Tsephon. The seven-headed dragon Lotan is associated closely with him and the serpent is frequently used to describe him. He is the Canaanite equivalent of the Sumerian Tiamat, the primordial mother goddess.

    Of all the gods, despite being the champion of El, Yam holds special hostility against Baal Hadad, son of Dagon. Yam is a deity of the sea and his palace is in the abyss associated with the depths, or Biblical tehwom, of the oceans. (This is not to be confused with the abode of Mot, the ruler of the netherworlds.) In Ugaritic texts, Yam’s special enemy Hadad is also known as the “king of heaven” and the “first born son” of El, whom ancient Greeks identified with their god Cronus, just as Baal was identified with Zeus, Yam with Poseidon and Mot with Hades. Yam wished to become the Lord god in his place. In turns the two beings kill each other, yet Hadad is resurrected and Yam also returns. Some authors have suggested that these tales reflect the experience of seasonal cycles in the Levant.”

    Any questions, class?

    For those more “Visually inclined”…here is “Joseph”, and “Solomon”..in actual fact Yuya and Ramses II…of the Heperu royal family of Egypt: Joseph:http://anubis4_2000.tripod.com/subpics1/Yuya2.jpg

    And if you doubt this, tell me what a “Bullae” of the 14th king of “Judea”, Hezekiah (king of the northern Egypt Nile Delta area known in ancient times as Itj-twy, and Thebes in the south is Israel/Urusalim…which is why pharaohs in control of both lands called themselves “Lord of the TWO LANDS”….) is doing with a Cartouche of THE ATEN and AMEN????? Because, he was a priest of Akhenaton’s “single god” AND of Amen?!?!?!

    Here, an article written by Jewish source of this FACT: “http://www.vcoins.com/en/stores/archaeological_center/13/product/lasting_impressions_new_bullae_reveal_egyptianstyle_emblems_on_judahs_royal_seals_by_robert_deutsch/47915/Default.aspx

    See the Sun/Aten image AND the (K)Heperu Scarab Beetle???

    King Tut’s royal “prenomen” throne name:
    Lord of the forms of Re (VEDIC..”FORMS OF INDRA/ASPECTS OF RA”

    A Khepru/HEBREW. Go look at Wikipedia “King Tut”…see the Scarab beetle like on Hezekiah’s Bullae????

    Read, and learn: VEDIC “Jews” http://aryaculture.tripod.com/vedicdharma/id6.html

    Lastly…the first, the “patriarch” of the Heperu 18th dynasty of Egypt (symbol is a Scarab beetle, a “Kheperu”, according to the ultra Zionist Velikovsky, the K is silent…) was “Ahmose”…Wikipedia it and learn: That means Iah’s Moses…BORN OF IAH/YA/YAM

    it is ALL ASTROLOGICAL IN ORIGIN….I Star Devat ta..STAR OF DAVID…LOOK: “He is a SHE: Istar’s HARP on HER HOUSE…”The real “House of David” means “house = SIGN OF THE ASTROLOGICAL TABLE….Upper left hand corner, under “the star” VENUS…a HARP..ISTAR’S HARP, she played it for a BLINDED GIANT her husband, Tae Sheba (making her the Queen of Sheba) and Gilgamsh had blinded then murdered. Violence….over and over.

    By The Way: these Kudduru Stones? They were placed by the LORD (King/pharaoh) as LAND GRANT MARKERS to “Chosen” subjects in return for good service to the LORD (King)…UNDERSTAND???????

    THAT is why certain people think they are “Chosen”…because they served their LORD/KING well, and were GIVEN THE LAND. Go ahead, READ what a Kudduru stone is,,,and WHERE they are found!!!

    This is only the surface I have scratched of revealing truth to past history.

    And you can CHOSE to NOT BELIEVE…but you cannot choose your own FACTS.

  7. #7 by Ingrid B on 02/22/2013 - 9:34

    “In short, the Jews only celebrated once their survival was no longer dependent upon harming others.” :

    so many, many deaths, in order to ensure the survival of these creeps, maybe they will either drink themselves to death, or F one another to death..

  8. #8 by Doug Wagner on 02/22/2013 - 9:34

    Migrate, but do not assimilate. Gravitate to, or create usury financial institutions designed to extract true wealth from the indigenous population to them and their brethren. As soon as they perceive they are safely in control they freely exhibit the obnoxious and exclusionary personality traits which eventually bring about their expulsion.

    This is the special Jewish “circle of life”, as it has been lived throughout recorded history.

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