Monday, March 6, 2017

Purimshpiel at The White House

The Actors and the Roles: As many of us here in Albuquerque are aware, Purim is coming! Shushan Purim will be observed in the Capital (Jerusalem) and at the Capitol (Washington, DC) on Monday March 13.

But first, Purim For the Rest of Us will be celebrated on Sunday March 12.

And all of us will observe the Fast of Esther on Thursday March 9 - because we Jews are forbidden to fast on Shabbat (except on Yom Kippur) or on Erev Shabbat.

This year too, the DC Purimshpiel will not be presented as a separate performance. Instead, the traditional Purim parody will occur as a series of seemingly random events, with "real" people playing the parts first recorded in Megillat Esther.

The roles of King Ahasuerus and Queen Vashti will be "played" (of course!) by President Donald John Trump and his lovely wife Melania Knauss Trump.

Of the role, the small-handed, small-minded Mr Trump said
I've got really like the biggest golden scepter in the world. It's yuge. As king, this role will come to me naturally. I won't even bother to read the script.
Mrs Trump, already banished to the poorer quarters where the ragged people go, looking for the places only they would know, could not be reached for comment.

None other than Stephen Kevin "Steve" Bannon will have the opportunity to "play" the evil Haman. The blonde but nevertheless evil Kellyanne Elizabeth Fitzgerald Conway will "play" Haman's cunning and prescient wife, Zeresh.
Although it could have been the other way around. And there are rumors that Mr Bannon was offered, but declined, the role of King Ahasuerus.

And how, Abq Jew hears you ask, about the important but obscure roles of Big Thana and Teresh? Michael Thomas "Mike" Flynn and Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III had been confirmed to "play" these roles.
But the availability of this ignoble pair has recently come into question, with Herbert Raymond "H. R." McMaster already stepping in to replace Mr Flynn. 

There was initially great suspense over the parts of Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha - the ten sons of Haman - for which there was, alas, no shortage of applicants.

Too many applicants, in fact. All of whom together gave "living" testimony to Benjamin Franklin's famous words -
We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.

Which brings us to Esther and Mordecai.

There are no applicants for what, in ordinary years,
would be the Purimshpiel's starring roles

Everyone, by which Abq Jew means everyone, was looking forward to these pivotal roles being "played" by Ivanka Marie Trump and Jared Corey Kushner.
But they will not. Indeed, the magical couple has rarely been seen or heard since the First Banquet.

Who will take their place?

As many commentators have noted through the centuries, nowhere in Megillat Esther is the name of God mentioned. But God's presence is alluded to in the verse
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there arise respite and deliverance to the Jews from another place, but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed. And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Who will "play" the parts of Esther and Mordecai? Who has recently "come to the kingdom" - perhaps for such a time as this?
Who will save the Jews?

Just saying. You never know.

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