Sunday, November 26, 2006

Home For Purim

Christopher Guest's "For Your Consideration"
The film is a take off about a movie within a movie generating Oscar buzz, starring Catherine O'Hara, who looks insane as usual. The movie generating all of the buzz in the film is titled "Home For Purim" - which is just funny by itself. I can't wait to see it.
Pictured, the cast all dressed up for Purim.
What is "Purim" for the Jews I wondered? Turns out, it's kind of like secular Christmas; festivities, gifts, drinking, fun, etc. Here is a description:
Purim, A Festival of Gladness
Purim is celebrated in Jewish communities around the world each year on the 14th day of Adar, which will fall on March 21, 1997. The festival is based upon the story told in the Book of Esther, a tale of humorous and melodrama parody of palace intrigue, in which the brave Queen Esther and her uncle, Mordecai, save their people from the twisted genocidal plot of the wicked vizar of Persia, Haman. The name "Purim" means "lots" and refers to the mechanism by which Haman chosen a date for the annhilation of the Jewish people, a decision made out of rage because Mordecai refused to bow down to him in public. The festival of Purim is celebrated primarily by reading the Book of Esther from a hand-written scroll called the Megillah, and blotting out the sound of Haman's name with noise-makers called groggers. People attend the Megillah reading dressed in costume, most often characters from the story. Purim is not considered a holy day, and carries none of the prohibitions associated with the pilgrimage festivals, and it is certainly not celebrated as a holy day. The order of the day is costumes, gift-giving, and historically, a good amount of drinking. The Talmud instructs that one should consume enough alcohol to render one unable to distinguish between "Bless Mordecai" and "Curse Haman," a tradition that probably derives from two reasons. First, much of the plot of the story revolves around the drinking of alcohol. Second, while the tale told in the Book of Esther is not considered historical, and is certainly irreverent, it rings true because of the Jewish people's long history which has included oppression, expulsions, pogroms, and genocide.

Purim is traditionally celebrated in the way that Mordecai instruction the Jews (Esther 9:19) to commemorate their deliverance by:
giving portions (food gifts) to one another
giving gifts to the poor
-Rabbi Scheineman's Home Page
There is a long history of the Persians wanting to annihilate the Jews isn't there?

1 comment:

  1. I've been in love with Catherine O'Hara for 30 years or so whenever SCTV started to show up on American TV.

    That was one of the funniest series ever! Is it being shown on cable now?

    I'm sure she is a scream in "For Your Consideration." And thanks to the wonders of modern cosmetics, she looks no older than she did 30 years ago. But I suppose she has a few aches and pains as do it.


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