COMMUNAL
Purim women join ‘Me Too’ era

YOU wouldn’t think the Purim story — with Esther the heroine and Vashti the “evil queen” — would ever change. But it has this year... in America.

For Meredith Jacobs, vice-president of communications and marketing at Jewish Women International, has put a different spin on it.

According to the Book of Esther, Vashti was banished by her husband, the Persian King Ahasuerus, for refusing to show her beauty and wear her crown in front of his drunken male guests.

But in today’s “Me Too” climate, Jacobs believes Vashti was merely standing up for herself.

There is support for that view from Rabbi Denise Handlarski, of Oraynu humanistic synagogue in Toronto, who said: “If you read the Megillah, it’s quite clear that Vashti was victimised in all kind of ways, much like we see with some of the things that have been happening recently.

“We have seen throughout history that when a woman stands up for herself, there are unfavourable consequences.”

So the Purim women’s roles are finally being reappraised... and it has only taken 2,400 years.


Comic Sarah’s U-turn

OOPS, American comedian Sarah Silverman has had to say sorry.

She had tweeted a plea for all Jews to support Ahed Tamimi, the 17-year-old Palestinian girl who was detained after being filmed slapping an Israeli soldier.

Tamimi has since become a global symbol of Palestinian resistance.

But Silverman changed her tune when Frimet and Arnold Roth — the parents of Malki Roth, who was killed at 15 in Jerusalem’s Sbarro terrorist attack in 2001 — entered the fray.

They asked: “Sarah, did you stand up for our daughter Malki and the other 15 Jewish lives extinguished by Ahlam Tamimi, Ahed’s cousin?”

Silverman apologised and admitted she “did not know enough” about the conflict.

Maybe she should have researched the situation before tweeting.


Mobster was mensch

OBSCURE Jewish links have emerged about American preacher Billy Graham, who has died aged 99.

One of them refers to how Graham tried to convert Jewish mobster Mickey Cohen to Christianity.

Cohen told a reporter that the pair would “talk a lot about Christianity” when the preacher visited him in jail.

And at a rally in 1957, he urged Cohen to renounce his ties to organised crime and come on board publicly as a Christian.

Mickey refused — what a mensch!

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