During the merry celebration of Purim this upcoming Saturday night and Sunday, children and even adults will wear masks and costumes. Masks echo the theme of concealment in the Purim story itself, which we will read in the Scroll of Esther.
Posted: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 18:00 |
The question being asked in Jerusalem is whether Mahmoud Abbas will hear the same unpleasant truths about making peace and not missing another opportunity to create a Palestinian state when he visits the White House on Monday that Barack Obama had for Bibi Netanyahu last week.
Purim is fun, and food, and noise, but there is also a serious side to Purim. Before Esther reveals her Jewish identity to the king, she hides behind a mask of anonymity, one of many in the harem. Only after she speaks as Esther, the Jew, does she speak honestly, with her own voice. Her power comes from the honesty in her own voice and not behind her mask.
Many of us, especially in the special needs world, learn to live behind masks.
When I was younger, I strived to emulate my two older brothers. I did so in many ways, but I particularly wanted to mimic their passion for playing an instrument. Others told me that I was too young and should wait a year or two to begin. Then Rebecca Teplow took one look at my fingers, after her piano lesson with my eldest brother, and told me that now was a perfect time to begin. I was thrilled.
Posted: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 20:41 |
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Samuel Lewis, who died Tuesday at 84, was "the essential American at Camp David" negotiations between Israel and Egypt because "he was the only one who really understood the Israelis," said Graeme Bannerman, former staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Without his vociferous explanation of Israeli concerns and constraints, the American delegation may not have been able to develop a balanced position."