Thursday, March 24, 2005

Purim Sameach

For me, Purim always brings memories of my Bat Mitzvah year, when each student in my class was supposed to create a project about a Biblical woman.
Most of the girls chose Sarah, Rifka, Rachel, Leah -- the usual suspects.
I chose Vashti.
My parents were called in for a long talk with the teacher and I narrowly avoided getting kicked out of school.
To this day, however, I believe Vashti is one of the most wronged characters in the Tanach. In the text, she is guilty of nothing more than trying to preserve her modesty -- surely a role model to us all -- and yet, she is villified by the Midrash. Perhaps there was room for only one female hero in this story; perhaps the Midrash felt the need to find some justification for her seemingly unjust fate. Either way, she is certainly more sinned against than sinning...

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