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The Coin Flip (Purim)

Preview: Is the “half shekel,” which we donate on the fast-day of Esther, related to the “half kingdom” which Achashverosh offered to give Esther following her fast? It seems so!

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If the Shoe Fits (Purim)

Preview: Why does the Purim megillah seem to recall the ancient law of yibbum? And why does the yibbum law, in turn, contain so many allusions to the law of Amalek? And how does this all connect to the megillah’s focus on Esther’s identity as an orphan?

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Life Can Only Be Understood Backwards (Purim)

 Preview: A short thought, in the name of my teachers: On the surprising chronology of the megillah and the curious ritual of reading it twice.

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