Happy Purim! (and the BBC moves Megillat Esther)


Wishing all readers celebrating Purim a very happy holiday. 

Purim is of course a festival marked with plenty of humour. The BBC has – perhaps unwittingly – contributed some laughs with its attempt to ‘do’ Purim in an article – placed in the Travel section of its website – which makes a clear case for writers not to indulge in unfamiliar alcohol when committed to accuracy. 

“…there are three things you are supposed to do on Purim: read the Megillah (the relevant section of the Talmud, the central religious Jewish text)…”

Chag Sameach! 


6 comments on “Happy Purim! (and the BBC moves Megillat Esther)

  1. “Today is Purim a Jewish festival notable for dressing up – making noise and drinking although I haven’t seen anything as sodden as Brad Cohen makes out, in the Travel and Food & Drink sections, of all places. I’ll leave it for discussion whether it is better to send someone who has had nothing to go with Judaism since childhood – and judging by his comments, precious little even then, or to send a know nothing Foreign Correspondent or a Muslim with a grudge.

    I was interested in how the BBC related to the holiday and wasn’t surprised to find mostly it is confined to CBeebies. Unfortunately not available outside the UK. Perhaps someone might like to check, for us?

    Even for the kids (or maybe especially for the kids) the agenda doesn’t stop. Unfortunately I couldn’t access LEARNING ZONE BROADBANDCLASS CLIPS Judaism, Jews and the Holy Land but the text introduction makes it clear:

    An insight into contemporary Judaism, from the lively celebrations of Purim in Jerusalem to a discussion about the rights of Jews to settle on occupied land. Presenter Reverend Peter Owen-Jones visits Jerusalem to find out more about Judaism, in particular its link with the land. He prays at the Western Wall and explains some of the origins of their monotheistic belief, and joins men in an Orthodox yeshivah for their exuberant celebrations. After explaining something of the origin of the state of Israel, a conversation with a Jewish Rabbi, a settler on occupied Palestinian land, gives a personal, Jewish perspective on their relationship with the land.

    In case there is any doubt on what the BBC or is it Owen-Jones thinks is the focus: Ideas for use in class
    Recommended to watch alongside clip 8364 for an alternative perspective on Israel. Older students can consider the political implications of this clip, alongside the clip with the Palestinian views on the building of settlements on occupied land. Younger students may concentrate on the story of Purim and explore why it is celebrated with such energy and abandon. The recommended clip is A Muslim view on the Palestinian conflict

    Not surprisingly none of the classroom exercise on Islamic festivals provide a Christian counter view of Islam.
    Reverend Peter Owen-Jones visits Muslims in Palestine, asking the question, ‘What drives people to kill for their religion?‘ He visits a refugee camp and meets Samir, a Sunni Muslim, who worships at the mosque. He then explores the common roots of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Samir, whose daughter was a suicide bomber, gives his opinion that the conflict in Palestine is not a religious conflict but one about land.

    I hope the Rev notes the differences between Islam, Christianity and Judaism when it comes to suicide bombing but I doubt it.

  2. Each day I view twitter and feel more and more alienated about the country in which I was born and which gave my ancestors refuge. I feel literally sick. How can this have happened in my life time. My grandparents ran away from russian cossacks, my parents lived through the knowledge of the holocaust and were grateful for being in this country. They witnessed the birth of Israel and rejoiced. I have seen how israel, when a very small and poor country surrounded by arab states bent on their destruction, was supported by the uk.
    Since then, the stronger and more able to not only win wars but survive attacks Israel has somehow become the agressor and the palestinians the people who need support and protection. Notwithstanding the militant jihadists who, while part of the palestian world ie. gaza and the west bank, plan the destructiion not only of Israel but the whole of the western, christian world. I would like to see the creation of a palestinian state that could live in peace with Israel.
    So what has this got to do with the growing antisemitism in this country and the rest of the european world that should have been cleansed of this after the shame of the holocaust. ?
    Do I have to get to the end of my life knowing that human beings never change and learn nothing from the past. ?
    The worst thing is that I have recently become aware of jewish people who living in this country vilify Israelis as being arrogant and bringing all this bad feeling on themselves. How truly awful is that.
    So does this country have every citizen as a pure example of the ideals and democracy that I was brought up with.
    Most of them cant even speak english anymore!!!! This is the country that harbours all these antisemitic people.
    Finally the bbc, that one time bastion of truth and morality is run by left wing biased, completely antisemitic journalists who espouse only the one point of view of the arab community.
    When they all run the risk of getting blown to pieces by the home grown jihadists lets hope they will be on holiday!!!!


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