So here's how supper turned out. I was so exhausted, I didn't even bother fluffing up the rice, but it was yummy anyway. The fish was on the bland side but everybody ate tons. Carrots well-received; to me, they taste just like tinned so why bother, but I am the only one here who likes tinned carrots, apparently.
Naomi sat in her chair and cried until I let her eat the rest of her bagel with cream cheese from lunch. She did eat all her carrots, but refused to eat the remaining micro-taste portions of supper food - like 1" square of fish and ten grains of rice...
... and here's the weather outside tonight. Doesn't look it, but it's completely awful. But I'm proud of myself: I went to a shiur - for a change! First in a long time. We're doing Megillas Esther. I was so dreading it, almost on a scale with dental work. I figure it doesn't get much more tedious than Purim. I mean, it's one day, ten minute megillah, easy stuff. But it's fascinating.
Did you know the Purim story, that short book that you can speed-read in 10 minutes, takes place over a span of nine years? I mean, I should have known that, but never did. That totally explains a lot, like why Achashverosh doesn't remember the incident with Mordechai and the conspiring guards.
Rabbi Zauderer, who's teaching the class, also described the depth of Esther's tragic heroism in the most fascinating way.
She was married to Mordechai at the start of the story - the tzaddik of her generation, a wonderful, incredible man, but she debases herself to be with the horrid Achashverosh. They couldn't write it that way in the megillah because it was written while Achashverosh was still alive - big trouble unless they find a diplomatic way to word everything. That's also why there's no mention of God in the megillah. There are actually many hints and subtle references, which hopefully he'll get to over the six (?) weeks. Anyway, Esther debases herself to be with Achashverosh, not just for the duration of the story, but forever... she's stuck with him for good, even after the story ends.
He said the gemara talks about Esther sneaking out of the palace to be with Mordechai even after she's been chosen by Achashverosh. How? Because being with the king was involuntary - she would have lost her life if she hadn't - it could be considered a rape... and after a rape, a woman is still permitted to her husband. However, the last time she went to Achashverosh in the story, remember that she was afraid because he hadn't called her? That time, it was finally not considered a rape... she intentionally lowered herself to save her people. But because it was voluntary, she was forever cut off from being with Mordechai.
The good news is that they had a son, Daryavesh (Darius), who was Jewish & brought about the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash. Bad news: stuck with that horrible man forever.
At least, that's what I think he said. The only bit that I'm slightly confused about is that I thought you are supposed to give your life rather than have certain licentious sexual relations... that being one of the three things, including idolatry and murder, that are worth giving your life for. Will have to ask about this next time.
Wrote most of an article! Just have to trim it down to size... almost 1200 words at the moment. Ted reads through it and just says cut this and this and this. Ha. Easy for him to say, and he's always suggesting I cut out my favourite, most essential bits. The infuriating part is that he's usually right.
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