Wednesday, March 7, 2012
AD LO YADA YADA YADA
The Book of Esther, this evening’s Required Reading. [Click to embiggen.]
Sundown this evening marks the arrival of the Jewish holiday of Purim, on which we Red Sea Pedestrians celebrate our deliverance from a Persian plot to exterminate us. (Sounds kinda familiar, don’t it?)
The old joke about Jewish holidays is that they all have a common theme: “They tried to kill us off. They failed. Let’s eat.”
Purim is a little different. This time, it’s “They tried to kill us off. They failed. Let’s drink.”
Yeah, getting hammered (or at least mildly tipsy) on Purim is a venerable tradition going back to the days of the Talmud. Tractate Megillot states that one should revel on Purim “ad lo yada” - until one no longer knows (ad de-lo yada) the difference between “Blessed be Mordechai” and “Cursed be Haman.” And if that’s not a good rule of thumb, what is?
The other tradition - nay, a requirement - is that one listen to the recounting of the Purim story. To that end, Megillat Esther (the Book of Esther) is chanted in services this evening and tomorrow morning. It’s actually a pretty entertaining tale for something biblical, given that it actually has a narrative complete with good guys, bad guys, suspense, mortal peril, and a happy ending. (Happy, that is, except for Haman.) But unless you understand the Hebrew, it can be a rather tough slog... yada, yada, yada. Yet another reason for having a schnapps or two.
Update: A different take on Purim-Drinkage here.
Posted by Elisson at 12:16 PM
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...one should revel on Purim “ad lo yada” - until one no longer knows (ad de-lo yada) the difference between “Blessed be Mordechai” and “Cursed be Haman.”
It would never have occurred to me to look to the Book of Esther for an example of nondualistic thinking, and yet there it is.
Lifting my glass (just once!) with you, on Purim Day.
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