Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

The consolidated communities of Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Community Center

Shabbat Pekudei 5776

Every year on Purim, we have a return encounter with Megillat Esther. My instincts lead me to conclude that we do one of two things during the megillah reading. We either follow along to remind ourselves of the story we’ve long known, or we peruse the Hebrew looking for Haman’s name so we can make a ruckus. But rarely do we get a chance to look more carefully at what is one of the most interesting books in the Bible, indeed a book that perhaps shouldn’t have been in the Bible in the first place.
 
So in addition to the short section in The Observant Life Purim, this Shabbat’s lunch and learn will feature the first chapter of themegillah. You can find the text of the chapter here. As you read the chapter, consider these questions:
 
How does the chapter serve as a prologue to the rest of the book? What major elements of the story are totally absent from this chapter, and what events are foreshadowed if not mentioned?
 
What does the book give such detail in describing the banquet?
 
What are your observations about the King from this chapter?
 
I look forward to having some fun with this chapter on Shabbat at lunch. I hope to see you then!
 
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,
 
Rabbi David Wise