Purim is often thought of as a pediatric holiday, a festival of levity for children. But the story of Purim, as described in the Scroll of Esther, is anything but pediatric. If the story were turned into a movie, it would almost certainly earn an R or NC-17 rating for its strong adult themes and graphic violence. There is palace intrigue complete with adult innuendo. There is the specter of genocide. There is the execution of Haman and his sons. There is rampant retaliatory violence. So why has Purim become a child-centered celebration? Perhaps it is a type of communal sublimation, whereby our discomfort with the story and its implications about Jewish vulnerability and Jewish power is redirected towards revelry. Perhaps this is a healthy thing. But perhaps we also need to remember the adult lessons of Purim – that enemies of the Jewish people are real. They are frightening. And we must not allow them to prevail.
Strength of tradition and warmth of community are at the heart of our congregation, yet we are so much more. We are a center for Jewish life, a home away from home where you and your loved ones can share with us in the life-long Jewish journey of learning and discovery.
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Temple Bat Yahm | 1011 Camelback Street | Newport Beach, CA | 92660 | (949) 644-1999