Note #1: Purim is a holiday where we read a story rife with evil plots and bad actors, and are asked to turn it into a time of raucous celebration and frivolity. This kind of festivity and silliness in the face of real suffering is both a mitzvah and a challenge. We at J Street present the following satire-filled “Purim Torah” with acknowledgment of the tragedies of our time, and the hope that bringing some levity will help us face the challenges before us.
Note #2: J Street published my piece for Purim this year with the following disclaimer (obviously also written in the spirit of Purim – none of what Emily Kaiman or I wrote is true).
WE DID IT! I know it seemed very dicey these past months with the threats of judicial reforms, and settlement expansions but we cannot be more excited at the miraculous turn of events. The vision for peace and equality, with two secure states side-by-side, is finally in sight with all the major progress of this past week!
I am writing what may be one of my last emails to you all. As you can see from our Two-Way Street Purim article below, J Street has been so successful in our mission to advocate for policies that are pro-Israel, pro-peace, and pro-democracy that in just a few short months there may be no need for our movement at all.
Please enjoy this Purim Torah, from one of our very own Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet Chairs, Rabbi John Rosove. Wishing you a Purim filled with fun, laughter, levity (and a bit of satire).
J Street Deputy Director of Jewish Communal Engagement
Good News This Purim
Rabbi John L. Rosove
Happy Purim! A holiday of fun, humor, and satire. We hope you enjoy this piece from Rabbi John Rosove and have a wonderful and joyous holiday.
You won’t believe this!
Prime Minister Netanyahu, Ministers Smotrich and Ben Gvir have just held a press conference announcing full equality for the Palestinian people, including recognition of their right to self-determination in a sovereign state alongside Israel. They have formally invited Palestinian leadership to negotiate a peace treaty that settles all issues between Israelis and the Palestinians.
In the meantime, the government announced support for rulings by the International Court of Justice; they will join the International Criminal Court, and will reverse economic incentives in a bid to reduce the population of Israelis living on occupied lands. This final agreement will be signed next week at a celebration and ice cream social with Ben and Jerry’s.
More good news!
The leaders of the Haredi parties decided after a long series of pilpulistic debates to support the Egalitarian Southern Kotel Agreement for Women of the Wall, and egalitarian prayer, as worked out by former Sochnut Executive Natan Sharansky at the request of then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2016. Moving forward, the ultra-Orthodox Administrator of the Wall and all the Haredi political parties have committed to not interfere with Women of the Wall Monthly Worship services at the women’s side of the main Kotel plaza. Additionally, they will not disrupt egalitarian minyanim from the liberal streams of Judaism at the soon-to-be-built and expanded Southern Kotel Plaza beneath Robinson’s Arch.
They agreed further that the Orthodox parties will share 50% of the funds they receive annually for their yeshivot and synagogues with the liberal religious Israeli streams, that they will include secular education in their yeshivot and enter into the Israeli workforce. Like all Israelis, they will now have the option between serving in the IDF or volunteering with humanitarian organizations.
They have said that the end to the militancy against non-ultra-Orthodox Jews will heal rifts in families and communities, better represent the Jewish values of respect and diversity, and deliver more freedom and support to women and LGBT+ individuals from all backgrounds. They will signal in a press conference after Purim their willingness to join together hand-in-hand with the leadership of the liberal religious movements to create a shared agenda that serves the best interests of the people and State of Israel.
The Iranian government and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard have agreed to stop calling Israel “The Little Satan.” Iran’s leadership intends to send all weapons-grade nuclear material to trusted world powers, commits to ending its nuclear weapons program permanently, installing 24/7 monitoring equipment in facilities, and allowing IAEA inspections at all sites with short notice (that’s not actually much of a joke, it was all in Obama’s 2015 nuclear agreement!). Iran also agreed to cease sending military arms to Hezbollah and Hamas and work together with all nations in the Middle East in the establishment of regional peace agreements.
The Supreme Leader has decreed an end to all restrictions on women and the persecution of minority religious and ethnic groups. The Iranian leadership intends to invite Israelis to enter into cultural exchanges with the Iranian people.
Hamas has announced that it will formally recognize the State of Israel, end the use of terror tactics and enter into peace negotiations for the benefit of all Israelis and Gaza residents. It will turn over all hidden missiles to the US and EU and demolish its tunnel system under the supervision of international observers.
Hearing all these plans, the Arab League signaled its readiness to establish a regional peace agreement with Israel including economic, cultural, educational, and political exchanges. It announced the intention of all the nations of the Middle East to move rapidly to institute democratic forms of government.
In the United States:
The Republican Party turned its back on all election deniers and agreed to defeat in the next election all those extremist election deniers who remain in federal, state, and local government from ever running for political office again. These leaders have joined with the Congressional Democrats in overturning Citizens United, setting term limits on Supreme Court Justices, and increasing the size of the Supreme Court. In an unexpected turn of events, they have also come to an agreement to codify Roe v Wade, pass compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform and criminal justice reform, eliminate fossil fuels in industry and automobiles by 2035, pass an anti-Gerrymandering law and institute reasonable electoral reform. This session of Congress closed with a bipartisan vote to accept the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico into statehood by 2024.
Imshallah uv’ezrat Hashem — Happy Purim!
Please God, may it ALL come to be!
Service with a smile and a song, you should live so long!
I heard the 11 th plague was added to the Haggadah. Trumpism. Feh!!!!!
Marsha Pinson said:
We have a lot of work to do….I wish I drank!
Frances Jones said:
This post is hilarious and well-written. I’m a bit surprised that the author didn’t mention anything about the settlements in the article, but I’m glad they included some satire to make the read more enjoyable. I’m also curious to see what the author’s vision for peace and equality looks like, since I think that’s something that needs to be addressed in order to create a just and peaceful world.