Miami: A local synagogue remains in a state of confusion after last night’s Megillah reading by local author and pundit Ben Shapiro. The Megillah reading, which recounts the story of Purim, normally lasts around 25 minutes. Yet thanks to Mr. Shapiro’s famous rapid-fire staccato delivery, last night’s reading ended in slightly over 4 minutes. The Daily Freier was on the scene to speak with dazed congregants as they tried to make sense of what just happened.
“I love Ben’s podcast and I’m really happy that he moved here.” explained a man named Josh dressed as an astronaut. “But somewhere around Vashti I just got lost…. I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure that he also slipped in an advertisement for Express VPN halfway through.“
“What just happened?” asked Itzik as he took a shot of Arak. “Was that Yiddish? I’m Israeli but I’m just as lost as you are.“
Yet some of the attendees were quite happy with Mr. Shapiro’s speed-reading. “On Purim, it is an obligation to become intoxicated until one does not know the difference between Haman and Mordecai.” explained Naomi, who was dressed as a cat. “I’m pregnant and can’t drink, so this was great. Ben provided me an opportunity to be just as bewildered as the drunk people.”
The Daily Freier asked Mr. Shapiro for comment, but he replied that he did not feel the need to disprove a counterfactual.
Greetings everybody! I’m Paul O’Brien, He/Him, and today I’m here to explain Purim to the Jews! Because to be frank, you don’t seem to be “getting it” lately. Yet I believe in my gut that what the Jewish people really want is to be educated by a Woke NGO that knows what’s best for them. So please allow me to teach you about your holiday from a perspective of Solidarity and Global Justice. Ready? Here we go!
Long ago there was a land called “Shushan” in what today is Iran. Frankly, I’m not an expert on Iran as we mostly focus on countries with poor human rights records. Anyway, there lived a King named Ahashveros who was looking for a wife. He chose a woman named Esther who was apparently quite attractive but unbeknownst to the King, was a Zio Jewish. Esther had an Uncle named Mordecai who was quite an effective Lobbyist for Jewish Interests in the Kingdom
Sadly, the King didn’t notice these activities. Yet one of his Deputies was a keen-eyed observer named Haman. As time went on, Haman saw the growing power imbalance between the Jewish subjects and the Indigenous population of Shushan. In addition, Haman’s personal interactions with Mordecai left him feeling Marginalized and Othered. Deciding to Speak Truth to Power, Haman devised a series of responses to this Structural Injustice. Some of Haman’s proposed solutions seemed rather rash. But it’s not me to judge. Amnesty takes no political views on any question, including the right of the State of Israel to survive. (NON-SATIRE TIME-OUT: He. Really. Said. This.)
Mordecai learned of Haman’s Roadmap for Restorative Justice and notified his niece Esther, who then broke with agreed-upon norms and went directly to the King with her grievances. Feeling the full weight of Queen Esther’s Hasbara, King Ahashveros relented and in a clear-cut case of State-sanctioned cruelty, put Haman to death.
…. Can I take a break for a second and point something out? Why doesn’t the Megillah mention Palestine or the Palestinians? This feels like another manifestation of a Eurocentric World Order. OK, rant over! Back to the story….
Naturally, the Jewish community of Shushan celebrated the death of Haman. Today this holiday manifests itself as a week of debauchery with costumes that sadly reflect the rather sexist trope that women sometimes want to dress up and look hot in public. In addition, the holiday is rife with high-cholesterol fried foods and excessive alcohol consumption. Thanks but no thanks.
Tune in next month when Amnesty International takes a look at Pharaoh’s response to a Jewish Land-Grab in the Nile Delta!
OK people, just in cased you’ve been living under a rock for the past 18 months….. there’s going to be a little bit of locker room talk here. Got it? Good. Let’s get started.
Long time ago. In the land of Shushan. Wait a second…. Hey Jared, is that really the name of the place? That just sounds silly….. OK, so that’s really no kidding the name? Got it. Great name, Shushan. Great, Great name.
So anyway, there was this king. Ahashveros. Great King. Amazing King. Let me tell you, I have a lot of respect for Ahashveros. And he’s a strong King. Not like some other leaders I could mention…. So anyways, when you’re famous, let’s just say that the ladies find you. Ask Billy Bush what I’m talking about. Long story short is that Ahashveros had this hot chick. Named Vashti. Nice face. Killer body. But you know what? Just a nasty woman. A real nasty woman. One day the King is having a party at Ahashveros Tower. And he wants Vashti to show up. Just to show his buddies what a dime piece he landed. But get this…. Vashti refuses to show up. Can you believe the nerve? So Ahashveros? Great King. Just the best. You think he’s going to let Vashti get away with that? No way. So that night, the King goes up to Vashti and says “You’re fired“. And then I guess Vashti went on all the daytime talk shows in Shushan and complained about Ahashveros.
But now the King needs to find the next Mrs. Ahashveros. So he has a great idea…. he holds a Beauty Contest. Remind you of anybody in particular? So anyway, the King gets to check out all of the talent in the Kingdom. Love this guy. So they have an evening dress competition, the talent competition, and the speech on world peace or being nice to animals or trees or whatever. Then they have the swimsuit competition and he spots this one lady named Esther. Now this woman was a Perfect 10. Just smoking. And let’s just say she didn’t waste a lot of fabric making her swimsuit, you catch my drift?
So the King chooses Esther. Now let me ask you something. Did they have Tic-Tacs back then? Anyways, yada, yada, yada, she becomes the Queen. Great Queen. Amazing Queen. The best Queen. Just the Best. And you know what? Esther is Jewish.
So everything is going great for a while. And Esther has a cousin named Mordecai. Great guy. Great great guy. But there’s also this guy named Haman who works in the Government. Now Haman is a bad hombre. Bad Bad Hombre. And he does what he wants in Government without telling the King. I think he worked in the 9th Circuit Court of Shushan. Or maybe the Kingdom’s Environmental Protection Agency. Or the State Department. Wait a second. Did they have CNN back then? Cuz if they did, that’s where Haman was working.
So Mordecai finds out that Haman wants to kill the Jews. And he tells Esther. And this makes Esther sad. Very very sad. So Esther tells the King. And the King thinks, who the hell does this guy Haman think he is? So the King has Haman hanged. And Esther is really grateful to the King. I mean, really really grateful. You following me?
So the Jews win against Haman. So much winning. They were winning so much that finally Queen Esther said “King Ahashveros! Enough winning! Your people are bored with winning!” But the King said “No way! We will never be bored with winning!”
So then they all had a big party. A very big party. Bigger than Chanukah. Yuge. And loud. Very very loud. With those little noisemakers that my grandkids bring back from synagogue. And they all dressed up. The guys dressed up like Kings and astronauts and soldiers and cowboys. And the women dressed up like sexy devils, sexy Cleopatra, sexy Pocohantas, sexy cops, sexy Yasmin from Alladin, and my favorite, sexy nurses. I love Purim. Pass me one of those 3 pointed cookies.
Tel Aviv, Kerem HaTeimanim: WOW! That was some Purim party! The Yemenite Quarter was packed. And it was Off. The. Hook. And the trance music outside of Norman’s Bar was A-MA-ZING. And that girl you were talking to the whole night seemed really chill and down to earth. And her costume was SO AUTHENTIC! Get this…. she dressed as a Hare Krishna! And you know how some people do a half-assed job for Purim? Like wearing just a mask? Or a rainbow wig? Or wearing cat’s ears with a leotard and using a pen to add whiskers (OK, that’s actually kinda cool!) Well not her. She had it all! The flowing patchwork skirt. The peasant blouse. The sandals. Jangly bracelets. And a tambourine! She had a tambourine! How awesome was that??? And the conversation you had with her. It just flowed. Just talking about how the street music was merging with the Universe at the same time that it was emanating from the Universe! And you both like sitar music!
And she stayed in character the WHOLE. TIME! When you told her how cool her costume was, she kinda just stared at you for a second and then continued with the conversation. She kept asking if you were truly conscious. That’s so crazy man!
Wait…. you got her number? Dude! And you’re going out again today? Winning! Oh wait, you’re hanging out with her friends too? OK that’s cool. They want to see what you’re all about? Probably just looking out for her. Wait, you’re packing an overnight bag? You’re spending the weekend with her in the Galil? Well yeah…. her and her friends. Wait….. what’s a “retreat”?
Hey! A van is parked outside and it’s honking its horn. Wait! Where are you going?
Sometimes I feel that after 7 years of my reign as King of Shushan, I am still cleaning up a big mess. A mess that’s not my fault. I inherited the worst economy in the history of Persia. Wars with the Babylonians and the Chaldeans. And the climate was changing from burning too much cow dung. So it would be a mistake to hold me responsible for the current situation. Context, people.
And now folks are complaining about Haman. Saying he wants to kill the Jews. But Haman was in fact appointed by the previous Administration’s King. Not naming any names, but he goes by “W the Younger”. So a lot of folks are getting upset about Haman. And to be truthful, for outsiders like Mordecai to pop off with their opinions. Without the facts….. well it just isn’t helpful. And it makes my job as King more difficult.
Now back to Haman….
If Haman is not careful; and if he continues to act in this manner; then he should not be surprised if we choose to take drastic measures. Such as making thousands of Cuneiform “Hashtags” on clay tablets that say “#NoToHaman”….. So he needs to watch himself. And I tell Haman not to call my bluff.
But back to the problem at hand….
So Queen Esther and Mordecai, they’re quite religious. And sometimes, when folks have been left behind by the Iron Age, they cling bitterly to their slingshots and their religion. And to be truthful, Mordecai simply does not have the unique background and education to truly appreciate the situation. Like I do.
Now some folks want me to step in and stop what they call a potential “genocide” in Shushan. Because they say Haman wants to kill the Jews. But it is not that simple. I’ve spoken to Mordecai. And quite frankly, he is often wrong. Now Mordecai seems to think that Haman does not have…..legitimate grievances. And to be frank, Haman can be a real hothead. Truthfully, both of them disappoint me. There’s plenty of blame to go around. Everyone’s a little wrong. Except me of course. But it’s my job. As the leader. To rise above. These petty grievances. And try to find. A consensus.
Now Let me be perfectly clear. The statements made by Haman, they constitute a red line. And if it was up to me, you can rest assured that there would be severe repercussions for his actions. But unfortunately, here in Shushan, as your King I am not in a position to simply do these things. First we must consult with the council of provincial chieftains. And quite frankly, the council has been quite obstructionist. Now some may say that they’re acting this way out of personal dislike for me. And some of the folks in the Casbah who perform right-wing poetry and folklore, well they’re not too helpful. Like Rushambian Limbaughvus. Guys like him.
Anyways, where was I? Oh Yes, Haman. Haman needs to know that he’s on the wrong side of history. Aaaand he needs to get with the program. I mean, we’re here in Shushan and it’s already like the 3rd Century Before The Common Era. Get with the program.
Now Haman’s supposed plan. To kill the Jews. Looks serious. So I have dispatched. My grand vizier. Johnius Kerryezer. To look into it. And he’s working. With our regional allies. And within the framework of the world. As we currently know it.
So Mordecai says that Haman is constructing gallows. So these gallows, they don’t yet exist. Now Mordecai thinks they’ll be ready next month. But he doesn’t see the intelligence that I see. I have the best wizards and magicians in Persia. So for him to pop off like that, frankly, it’s chickenshit unprofessional. Anyhow, I’ve talked to Haman, and he says that the gallows are for scientific research. And if we want to truly build relationships and end the old quarrels, quite frankly we need to take Haman at his word. And find a consensus. So I have some great news.
Minister Johnius Kerryezer has struck a deal with Haman. Haman will refrain from building the gallows for around 10 years. Or at least to the end of my reign one moon after the next Winter Solstice. Which is a really long time. But hopefully a few years. I will have completed my third papyrus scroll by then. And I will be in my second career of performing oratory lectures throughout the land. But back to the deal….
In exchange for Haman’s promise, the treasury will release to him 50 thousand ingots of gold. Prince Josephus Bidenopolos is on his way as we speak to deliver the news to Mordecai. So people of Shushan, I’ve solved your problems again. You’re welcome.
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.