Many years ago, the rabbi who presided over my conversion to Judaism, while seated at his desk leaned forward and looked me squarely in the eyes. He said, “You do realize you are willingly about to join a group of people that others for eons of time have generally despised throughout history?” I said yes and while it did not deter me from the path I was on, it was an unpleasant reality to be acknowledged.
Anti-semitism is defined as the prejudice, discrimination and hatred of Jews as a national, ethnic, religious or racial group.
Despite ages of persecution, the continuing Jewish saga is one filled with accounts of heroism, rebuilding, perseverance and abiding faith. As we saw on the field trip this past Sunday to the Alliance Theater in Atlanta to see the play “The Temple Bombing”, a resilience and community spirit rose from the ashes. As the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim is retold, Haman definitely fit the definition of an anti-semite. His plan to kill all the Jews was ultimately foiled by Esther, Queen of Persia and her cousin Mordecai. It took a lot of courage to stand up to evil then, just as it does today.
So Purim is a story of triumph over hatred and is a joyous holiday. Definitely a reason to celebrate! Our own CSI festivities take place Saturday night, March 11th beginning with a dinner (no charge but please RSVP so we know how many to plan for!) at 6:00 pm. The always unpredictable but totally entertaining “Purim shpiel” follows at 6:45 pm. Have fun and feel free to wear a costume or a hat (from the silly to the sublime) if you are so moved! Speaking of enjoyment… of the musical, listening variety, don’t forget this Sunday starting at 4pm at Fickling Recital Hall at Mercer is our Spring Fundraiser! (It’s okay if your schedule finds you free at the last minute! Tickets can be purchased at the event.)
Happy Purim and see you around!