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Parashat Tetzaveh

March 3, 2023
11 Adar 5783
Exodus 27:20 - 30:20; Deuteronomy 25:17-19

Serious Purim Torah

Dear Friends,


Purim Torah is usually pretty satirical, and we will have some of that on Monday evening along with studying the Torah portion on Shabbat morning (online), but I want to give you a taste of Purim in its many variations.


A poem on joy (many were happy to finally see snow!);
A song calling out misogyny
And a dvar Torah that reminds us how important and healing it can be to turn everything upside down!

We are in the month of Adar. Let us rejoice!


A Psalm of Found Joy: For the First Joy in Months

by Devon Spier


I found my joy.
She wasn’t hiding.
She was waiting.
For the moment to lean forward,
To come from the middle of my chest,
Open up my throat.
And laugh without holding back.


Psalm 126:3

She Said No!: A Purim Song
Recording by MIRAJ, ©Margot Stein, Rayzel Raphael, Bayla Ruchama, Juliet Spitzer
Click HERE for the recording.


Without her gown
He summoned her down
Said it was his right
As a man with a crown

He was obsessed;
She should be undressed
Vashti refused to be
a woman oppressed.



She said “no” to the king,
She said “no” to the king,
She said “no-no-no-no-no-no-no”
She said “no” to the king!


The king then cried,
“Find me a bride;
She must be beautiful
And have no pride.”


When Esther came
He said, “You I will tame
And if you don’t like it
Well, Vashti’s to blame!”

Esther took heart,
That girl was so smart
Thinking of others
and doing her part

She was to find
to get out of that bind
She needed her body
and also her mind.    


Esther was brave
But the court was depraved
And Haman the Evil One
Ranted and raved;
She took a stand
Yes, she made a demand
That the Jews should be saved
Throughout the land. 



Remembering and Turning Things Upside-Down: Shabbat Zakhor and Purim

by Rabbi Rena Kieval

“There is a certain people, scattered and separate from the peoples in all the provinces of your realm, and their rules are different from those of any other people… It is not in your Majesty’s interest to tolerate them. If it please your Majesty, let an edict be drawn for their destruction…” (Esther 3: 8,9)

Every Purim, these words of Haman in Megillat Esther send chills down my spine. The words are ancient, yet they are all too familiar. We recognize the anti-Jewish tropes, the intolerance of anyone who is seen as ‘other’ or different, and the quintessential hate speech that is gaining more open expression in our time.  

Thu, July 18 2024 12 Tammuz 5784