Limmud Shabbat - Prayer and Learning

March 29, 2019
6:15 PM

Purim Jews or Pesach Jews

with Rabbi Kamrass

The great medieval Jewish scholar Rashi taught “The people Israel experienced days of miracles on Purim and Pesach.”  Even earlier in time, the wisdom of the Talmud taught us in the name of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, that it is “preferable to connect [one] redemption to [the other] redemption.” (Talmud Megillah 6b) Yet, these two holidays, celebrated within only one month from one another, present a portrait of contrasts.   They differ greatly in tone and tenor of celebration; they also illuminate significantly different messages and insights. 

A few years ago, contemporary scholar Yossi Klein Halevi, discussed these differences of approach captured in the phrase “Purim Jews or Pesach Jews.”  The contrast was not about which holiday was more enjoyable, and not even about either holiday, but from the lessons we draw from them that color the attitudes we hold as Jews toward the world around us, and to our inner life as Jews.   In the month between these holidays, our Shabbat Limmud on March 29 will focus on the contrast and the harmonization- and where each of us see ourselves- as Purim Jews or Pesach Jews.  Come join Rabbi Kamrass to learn more about this distinction and the attitudes and perspective we bring as Jews, illuminated by our history, to our contemporary experience in the world today.


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