Miscellany: The Purim Carnival
It's the 14th day of Adar, which means Purim is here! If you have no idea what Purim is, then maybe this clip from Christopher Guest's "For Your Consideration" will jog your memory:
In a nutshell, Purim is a Jewish festival commemorating the defeat of Haman, a vizier of the Persian empire who plotted to destroy all the Jews (people tend to do that, regrettably). Esther and Mordecai, according to the Old Testament, used their diplomacy skills to convince the king to kill Haman instead.
Around here, the Jewish community centers, schools, and temples put on elaborate Purim carnivals. I'm not sure what the execution of an evil Persian vizier thousands of years ago has to do with rock-climbing and bounce houses, but kudos to modern day Jews for finding an excuse to celebrate and give to the poor.