February 21, 2020

Purim, Patriarchy, And A Path Forward

“The patriarchy begins in response to human beings’ primal sin. Eve is told that because she ate (and fed her husband) from the Tree of Knowledge, he will now rule over her. (Genesis 3:16) Presumably prior to the sin, Eve and Adam were equal partners, each of them an ezer kenegdo, a helpful counterpoint to each other.

In Bavli Eruvin 54a, Rav Acha bar Yakov suggests that the word, חרות or engraved, which is used to describe the Tablets of the Law in Exodus 32:16 can also be read as חרות, meaning freedom. Rabbi Avraham Schorr, in his work Halekach v’Halebuv (Parshat Shekalim), takes this idea further and suggests that when Israel accepted the Torah at Sinai, they became free from the pall of humans’ original sin and they were restored to an Edenic state. Death was vanquished and God’s immediate presence could once again be felt by humans. When shortly afterwards Israel commits the sin of the golden calf, they are again catapulted back into a world of transgression, impurity and gender inequality.

Purim is identified by the Rabbis of the Talmud as a second Sinai. On Purim, the Jewish people accepted the Torah and God’s covenant anew (Bavli Shabbat 88a). If the original Sinai restored Israel to an Eden-like state, Purim as a Sinai redux should also hold hints of the original spiritual Eden experience.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"U.S. President Donald Trump thinks he’s suffered more injustice than the alleged witches of Salem, but it could be worse. Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharaff faced possible impeachment in 2008, leading to his resignation. In the end..."

"The 2000s felt like a decade of looking forward. Wi-Fi went mainstream, phones got smarter, social media connected us, digital tools let us rely less on physical ones. But the 2010s brought a shift. There was still tons of new technology, but..."

"While some women experience pregnancy and childbirth as joyful, natural and fulfilling, others find themselves recoiling in horror at the physical demands of carrying and sustaining a child in their womb, and even more so at the potential..."

"A few months ago, the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo bemoaned the death of the Manhattan power lunch. Gone were the long, decadent afternoons filled with networking and Negronis: “Suit-and-tie-wearing machers in media and Wall Street gave way to..."

"Economic inequality has moved to the top of the political agenda in many countries, including free-market poster children like the US and the UK. The issue is mobilizing the left and causing headaches on the right, where wealth has long been..."

"If you’re not familiar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats — or even if you are — then you probably have many, many questions going into the film adaptation this weekend, especially if you’ve witnessed the widespread bafflement the trailer..."

"Despite his precisely targeted campaign and some unexpected support, the chances of Gideon Saar engineering a surprise defeat of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Dec. 26 primaries for the Likud party leadership are still considered modest.."

"Peter Thiel is Big Tech’s most prominent Trump supporter. He is an unabashed enemy of the free press, having covertly funded a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker three years ago. He has become one of the most vocal pro-monopoly advocates, taking a..."