Happy Purim

Esther becomes Queen
“I name thee, Queen Esther!”
“Psst. Don’t tell anyone but we’re all Christians!”

Well, it’s not Purim yet. Right now it’s the Fast of Esther and I’m grumpy. But someone’s gotta post and I figure I’ll do it now because tonight it’s megillah reading time and then some food followed by fun-time party action. For those of you who don’t know, Purim is kinda like St. Patrick’s Day (Now you’re talkin!) minus the Irish, and the Saints, and the green and pretty much everything else except for the drinking, with this Jewishy story added in. But other than that, they’re totally the same. So maybe what you want to do is take a look at this cutesy Flash movie made in the Purim spirit (Thanks Janice). When it’s over, you can click on the link to find out more about Purim and why it is that I am not eating now.

One of the things people do on Purim is compose a Purim spiel – a humorous story – that’s told to those assembled. It’s meant to be humorous and in good fun, but sometimes people go a little over the top.

So go out tonight, listen to the Megillah and party hearty. Or do nothing and wait for the Purim-based Major Motion Picture starring, amongst others, Peter O’Toole and Omar Shariff – reunited again for the first time since Lawrence of Arabia. Yes I know! I thought those guys were dead too! Anyhow, I’m sure they won’t butcher the beautiful, deep and mystical nature of the Purim story in the interests of making a more marketable film, so once it comes out, you can get the whole scoop on this Purim thing, I’m sure. Except that it’s apparently produced by uh… fundamentalist Christians Mormons.

Tip of the cap to Chazarmaveth. That’s right. Sounds like the Pig of Death but in Hebrew is actually returned death. Whatever. Maybe it’s Yiddish. Dude’s funny and twisted. Hangs out in Park Slope and hates boy bands. What better indicia of cool is there?

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  1. Esther

    3/24/2005 at 2:24 pm

    The most important distinction between St. Patty’s Day and Purim is that SPD doesn’t celebrate any heroines named Esther. Ergo, it is clearly a less festive occasion.

    Chag sameach!

  2. T_M

    3/24/2005 at 2:27 pm

    Here’s a little Purim spiel.

  3. chazarmaveth

    3/24/2005 at 2:39 pm

    right on holmes, thanx for the double-props, and a wonderful Purim to all at jewlicious…
    i have a sneaking suspicion that JFJ is behind this mysterious project… the details are so vague, the titles on the 4-minute (?!) trailer look like they were made with iMovie, and the headshot of John Rhys-Davies is a picture of Gimli-son-of-Gloin! will this be the ultimate LOTR/Tanach crossover film? and what’s up with “volunteers” for the movie? those are usually called “production assistants,” not “volunteers.” people volunteer at the church, not on a movie set. it is obviously targeted at jews, but i’ll bet it’s spiced with all kinds of little references to big daddy J — plus, if this was being made by honest-to-goodness yidden, we all woulda heard about it last year, when the site went up…

  4. Michael

    3/24/2005 at 2:54 pm

    Wow, if that’s, uh, actually genuine and not someone’s idea of a funny joke (wasn’t that Omar Sharif shot taken from Hidalgo or something?), it looks like it should be pretty bad. You know, here’s what I don’t get: we own Hollywood. Why can’t we make Biblical movies a la “The Passion,” only make them, you know, expunged of references to Jesus and cognizant of the fact that Middle Eastern/Asian people 2500 years ago did not have straight blond hair? I mean, think about it: an entirely Jewish production of, say, the Makhabi revolt. It would be frickin’ sweet.

  5. T_M

    3/24/2005 at 3:12 pm

    Um, this doesn’t look like a “Hollywood” production. It does sound pretty bad though.

    It is real, however.

  6. Dina

    3/24/2005 at 3:13 pm

    shh, Michael, I’m working on that screenplay. Actually, I’m not yet but I will be as soon as I finish editing the short story I wrote about the Maccabees for my fiction workshop class! But you raise a good point–where’re those Elders when we need them? Seriously, their job is so deficient I’m actually glad we’re almost ready to take over.

  7. Michael

    3/24/2005 at 3:30 pm

    Seriously, though, it was a five minute trailer that revealed essentially nothing about the subject of the movie. What gives?

    Here’s a gem from the IMDB board about said movie:

    “The movie looks to be visually stunning. I could also sense the annointing of God on the movie. I am very excited for it to come out and I pray that it will be a blessing to all who see it.”

    If the anointing of G-d is on that movie, the man upstairs is slackin’ big time.

    Whoa, TM, I never called this a Hollywood production. I have eyes, chabibi.

    Yeah, Dina, I don’t know what’s up with the Elders. I mean, after the Passion made 45,457,984,000,000,000,000,000,000 Jesus bucks, you’d think people would have been all over the whole “Biblical epic” thing. And if it was Jewish, it would be so much better! Where’s Spielberg when you need him?

  8. Michael

    3/24/2005 at 3:31 pm

    Seriously, what’s with you people’s moderation queue? Has it gone w(h)acky, or do you just not like me?

  9. T_M

    3/24/2005 at 3:33 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on, Michael, but it’s annoying as hell. No posts are coming through without moderation right now.

  10. Dina

    3/24/2005 at 3:35 pm

    Ah. So that’s why, TM.

  11. Michael

    3/24/2005 at 3:44 pm

    This has happened to me before in WordPress…I don’t know if you have the same problem, but it’s worth a shot. In your list of words that the spam filter catches and sends to the moderation queue, if there’s a blank line anywhere (like at the bottom of the list), it will catch all comments posted.

  12. T_M

    3/24/2005 at 4:07 pm

    Michael, you are a genius! If ck were here, I’d send him right over to give you a big kiss!

  13. Michael

    3/24/2005 at 4:14 pm

    I’ll be seeing ck in two months. I guess he’ll owe me. Although, hey, ck, if you want to give me instead of that “kiss” a “falafel sandwich,” that’s totally cool with me.

  14. ck

    3/24/2005 at 6:57 pm

    “falafel sandwich?” is that what the kids are calling it these days?

    By the way, the movie was produced by Latter Day Saints – yup. Mormons.

  15. Soccer Dad

    3/25/2005 at 12:33 am

    Haveil Havalim #15 – The Purim Carnival!
    Mirty Gets Married provides us with, among other things, the Unitarian view of Purim as well as her own take on the holiday. Purim easy? Try making 30 sets of Shalach Manos for your children’s teachers and friends! And delivering…

  16. chazarmaveth

    3/25/2005 at 9:31 am

    well, good. anything christian is better than JFJ. i agree with michael… we need to make us some cinematic talmud talez — arba nichn’su l’pardes, tanur d’bar achnai, the story of Elazar ben Dordya (famed debaucherer/last-minute-teshuva-maker)… all dem aggadas deserve epic treatment. dina, i hope you are planning on blogging your story to us…? you’d be a welcome Special Literary Correspondent to The Pig of Death if ever the fancy struck you…

  17. T_M

    3/25/2005 at 12:13 pm

    Wait a minute, chazar maveth is supposed to be pig of death? Isn’t it chazir mavet?

  18. Michael

    3/25/2005 at 12:42 pm

    Yeah…”chazar” means returned or repeated, so it’s “death repeated.”

    As far as the “th” in “mavet,” it’s technically a more correct transliteration for a tav without a dagesh, which is slightly different sound than a tav with a dagesh. I mean, if you’re really serious about speaking Temani-esque Hebrew. The tav-b’li-dagesh, instead of the Ashkenazi “s,” is actually a “t” sound made against the roof of the mouth with the tongue scooped, like a lot of the sounds in Arabic. It makes the surrounding vowels sound “hollow.” The best way in English to transliterate it is with a “th,” since it kinda sounds like that (although the dalet without a dagesh sounds more like a “th”). It used to be the standard way of transliterating Sephardi Hebrew, which is why you get things like “Beth Israel” or something like that.

    Boy, I bet you didn’t really need to know that.

  19. T_M

    3/25/2005 at 12:49 pm

    I’d respond but suddenly I’m all tongue-tied.

  20. Michael

    3/25/2005 at 1:01 pm

    Some of the Arabic-inflected dialects of Hebrew also differentiated between gimel with a dagesh and without. So, were you making kiddush in Yemen, you might hear “borei pri ha-jafen,” which I think is kind of cool.

    I don’t know if that’s true to ancient Hebrew or not, but the fact that the dageshim were put there during the Tiberian period indicates that a lot of the letters at least at one time had multiple pronunciations.

  21. chazarmaveth

    3/25/2005 at 1:41 pm

    dude! me + moshe were looking at parshas noach, we saw a character whose name (in hebrew) was spelled “chet-tzadi-reish-mem-vav-taf,” translated (by artscroll) as “hazarmaveth.” moshe’s like, “death pig?” it was a joke. it stuck. zehu.

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