Monday, March 9, 2009

More Purim Spoofs, and Lessons of an Ever-Dying People

Fresh off another great Synaplex Shabbat featuring Storahtelling's timely and timeless Purim-spiel (and the unforgettable strains of "Don't Cry for Me, Jews of Shushan"), here is some more Purim material guaranteed to lighten up your day. If you are local, join us tonight for the Family Megilla reading at 6 (preceded by Mordechai's Pizza Party for kids), the greatest Shul (Purim Carnival) on Earth at 7 and at 8:15, Purim for Adults, a full Megilla reading. Bring costumes, banners and creative noisemakers (including a box of pasta to shake and then donate to the Food Bank, a custom we began following last year).

Click here to read about the Jewish Forward (I mean "Backward's") Purim spoof. Then check out the podcast, featuring Backward editors Anthony Weiss and Daniel Friedman in conversation with TBE's very own Gabrielle Birkner. They look at the Anti-Defamation League’s decision to honor Bernard Madoff, the retirement of the Elders of Zion, Adam Sandler’s meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, Jay-Z’s new Jewish dating Web site, and the existence of hot Israeli models.

Meanwhile, the Jewish Week has once again published it's landmark Purim edition, "The Jewish Weak." Below are the top stories:

Purim Spoof 09: Obama Taps Madoff As Ponzi Czar To Stimulate U.S. Economy
Purim Spoof 09: A-Rod And Blagojevich Making Aliyah, Praise Israel As ‘Land Of Second Chances’
Purim Spoof 09: Obama To Nation: ‘We’re Screwed; Everything Will Be Fine’
Purim Spoof 09: Wiesenthal Center Shifts Gears
Purim Spoof 09: Matishayu Still Can’t Find The Essence of His Being
Purim Spoof 09: Bombers Sign ‘Shoe’ Hurler
Purim Spoof 09: Prominent Rabbi Banned By RCA
Purim Spoof 09: Israeli Rabbis Reject Digital TV
Purim Spoof 09: Palin To Relocate To Boro Park
Purim Spoof 09: Lieberman Seeks Gore As Running Mate
Purim Spoof 09: Lieberman Seeks Gore As Running Mate
Purim Spoof 09: Birthright To Offer New Options
Purim Spoof 09: Synagogues Merge To Save Money
Purim Spoof 09: Chasidic Mothers Feel Sorry For Octuplets Mom
Purim Spoof 09: It’s A Dog’s Life, And Jewish Groups Scramble For Scraps
Purim Spoof 09: At The Movies
Purim Spoof 09: In The Theaters
Purim Spoof 09: Netanyahu Ready For First Scandal
A Recession Kind of Purim

In the end, Jews do on Purim what we do the rest of the year as well -- we poke a little fun at ourselves. On this most topsy turvy of days, we understand that the secret of life is to enjoy the ride -- and laugh a little all the while.

We also need to lighten up a little on the proclamations of impending doom. A recent cartoon noted Chicken Little's presence on the dais of a recent economic summit. True, it may seem like the sky is falling and the "End is Near," but we Jews are no stranger to disaster, and to pessimism. We can teach the rest of the world to hang in there.

In a New Republic essay written several years back called “Hitler is Dead,” Leon Wieseltier bemoans the excessive “Amalekitazation” of Israel’s current enemies, writing, "Israel was not created to destroy Amalek. Israel was created to deny Amalek.”

He concludes:

“The Jewish genius for worry has served the Jews well, but Hitler is dead... Pessimism is an injustice that we do to ourselves. Nobody ever rescued themselves with despair. "An ever-dying people is an ever-living people," Rawidowicz sagely remarked. "A nation always on the verge of ceasing to be is a nation that never ceases to be." It is one of the lessons that we can learn from the last Jews who came before us.”

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