Originally published March 10, 2017
The celebration of Purim seems to have been designed with young children in mind: cookies, costumes, parades, carnivals, goody bags, songs, and silliness. Yet, the story of Purim itself is decidedly child un-friendly. We read about gluttony, greed, misogyny, xenophobia, and attempted genocide. And don't forget the execution at the end. So what should we focus on when teaching this story to our children?
I used to ask my fourth and fifth graders to identify the 'big idea' in a story, and I used to think the 'big idea' in Megillat Esther is that one person really can make a difference. But this year I see a new 'big idea.'
King Achashverosh was willing to follow the suggestion of his evil adviser Haman and kill all the Jews in Persia, until he learned that his beloved wife was Jewish. In that moment, the Jews in his kingdom became less amorphous; they became real people. At least one Jew in his kingdom had a face, a mind, a personality. If Esther, a Jew, was a real person, then all the other nameless, faceless Jews must be real people, too, none of whom deserved to die because ONE Jew had refused to bow down to Haman.
In today's world, where increasingly it seems as if different groups, for different reasons, are trying to identify an 'us' and a 'them,' and to pit 'us' against 'them,' I think it's important to remember who 'them' are. They are all Esthers.
Friday, March 15, 2019
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Early childhood educators have long known the benefits of outdoor play . To name but a few, outdoor play improves physical and mental heal...
Activity: It's a Box! Give children boxes to build and play with and just step back. Their creativity will astound you. Materials ...
Our school year started on September 3. And then it started all over again on March 13. This has been a year none of us will ever forg...
There is a lot that you know how to do. Your child doesn't yet know how to do a lot of things. And they love you and look up to you and ...
Post a Comment