MARATHON

Jewish Community Center

Opening Doors to Spirituality, Social Consciousness, and Community A Friendly Egalitarian Conservative Congregation

Shabbat Tetzaveh

Exodus 27:20-30:10
Candle Lighting time 5:24 PM
 
In 1967, American vocalist Aretha Franklin topped the charts with her hit single “Respect.” The song became an inspirational anthem for the civil rights movement and for others who demanded to be treated with respect.
 
Tonight we celebrate Purim, let’s examine Vashti with fresh eyes. Long before Aretha’s hit record, Queen Vashti topped the Persian charts with her own version of “Respect.” Dr. Jason Gaines describes Vashti’s situation in his article “But Queen  Vashti Refused: Consent and Agency in the Book of Esther” (https://www.thetorah.com/article/but-queen-vashti-refused-consent-and-agency-in-the-book-of-esther)
 
“What, exactly, does she refuse to do? Ahasuerus wishes to show off her beauty. As noted above, the seven-day party was segregated by sex, such that Vashti would be the only woman in the room. Even worse, the seven-day banquet was thrown mostly for commoners. For a Persian queen to be ogled at by drunken commoners would have been a great debasement.[4]
 
“Rabbinic midrash picks up on this problem, and in its characteristic penchant for exaggeration, suggests that when Ahasuerus asked her to appear with her crown, he meant that and nothing else.[5] Targum Sheni—a post-Talmudic aggadic retelling of the Megillah—even depicts Vashti lecturing the king about the requirements of nobility.[6]”
 
If she obeyed, she would have allowed the king to degrade and dis-respect her. If she refused, she risked losing her life. She refused. What courage! Vashti didn’t want to compromise her character by being reduced to a piece of property. Her desire for respect led to her banishment. We have no record that Vashti feared the Lord. But her courage shows that she understood the God-given dignity accorded to every human being.
 
Purim is a call to action. Because all human beings are created in the image of God (betzelem E-lohim), we must treat ourselves and others with honor, dignity, and respect.
 
Purim Samayakh and Shabbat Shalom,
 
Rabbi Greene
 

Today's zoom opportunity

 
PURIM  Weekend!
Thursday, February 25, 2021
6:45 p.m services with full Megillah reading
 
Friday morning, February, 26, 2021
8:00 a.m. services with full Megillah reading
 
Sunday afternoon, February 28, 2021
4:00 p.m. Purim party featuring SO Fun City
Trivia and other Purim Games with a Magic showF
Fun for the entire family!
 
Go to the Hollis Hills email flyer for all the links!
 
Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning services
Friday, February 26, 2029 and Saturday February 27 at 10:00 AM
 
The same link works both for Friday night and Saturday morning  No passcde is required.
Contact synagogue for zoom info

 

 

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