It’s a little early for Purim, but the parallels to current events just seemed too good to wait.
“The Purim Story in a Nutshell
The Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he orchestrated a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes and became the new queen—though she refused to divulge the identity of her nationality.
Meanwhile, the antisemitic Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther’s cousin), defied the king’s orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was incensed, and convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar—a date chosen by a lottery Haman made (hence the name Purim, “lots”).
Mordechai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to G‑d. Meanwhile, Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a feast. At the feast, Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity. Haman was hanged, Mordechai was appointed prime minister in his stead, and a new decree was issued granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.
On the 13th of Adar the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar they rested and celebrated.”
Purim this year starts on the evening of March 11, and celebrates a victory against anti-semitism in ancient Persia that is uncannily relevant and timely today. In fact, if you substitute certain current politicians for the main characters, it sounds very familiar. Like so:
The Jews=the Jews, Muslims, immigrants, refugees, and any endangered minorities
King Ahasuerus=King trump
Queen Vashti=whichever latest bimbo to fall out of favor (or alternately, Hillary)
Haman=insert a racist top advisor, take your pick (Bannon, Pence, etc.). I considered trump, but he was already taken.
Mordechai=Bernie? (Hey, he’s even Jewish! Maybe he has a young female cousin?)
All we need is an Esther to infiltrate the inner sanctum and work from the inside to facilitate justice. I can’t imagine any decent woman having the stomach for that job, but in extreme times you do what you gotta do.
Purim is a festive pageant holiday, where everyone dresses as one of the main characters and reenacts the story, read from the ancient Megillah. Whenever you hear the name “Haman”, everyone drowns out his name with noisemakers. I can imagine some creative alternate costumes… an orange clown with a ridiculous wig. Maybe some Klan outfits. Lots of torches and pitchforks. Does “beauty pageant” and misogyny ring a bell? Casino gambling, anyone?
I’d keep the obligatory hamantaschen (sweet pastries), though. To eat while the Empire burns.