Midrashin the Megillah: a Purim Study

Chevruta on Purim! February 27, 2020 from 9:30 to 12:30 Eastern Time!

The tradition of Jewish study prefers Chevruta, partnership.

Study is an action that brings us into connection with beings Divine and Human.

Study is a spiritual experience, builds community, connects us across time and

space, broadens our perspective.


Thank you for joining us for this Chevruta study experience on this Saturday February 27th.  Between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm, we will offer multiple 45 minute sessions on Zoom focusing on countless aspects of Purim.   You are welcome to go to any of these offerings to partake of the learning and discussion.  Contact rabbi@tbsvero.org to request login information.


9:30 am

Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell “The “Upside-Down World” of the Megillah:   In this session, we will explore seeming coincidences in the text of Megilat Esther along with reversals in the text/story.



Rabbi Richard Birnholz  The Anti-Semitic “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”: How the Evil Haman Continues to Escape the Gallows. According the Anti-Defamation League, the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” is a nineteenth century forged political document that was distributed to prove that Jews are plotting to take over the world.  This conspiracy tract raised its ugly head again only months ago, showing how easy it is for “modern- day Hamans” to stir up anti-Semitic hatred when it serves their political objectives.

Join Rabbi Birnholz to learn the actual, multi-national conspiracy behind their authorship, why Henry Ford disseminated them, and the reason they persist despite being debunked and found libelous.



Rabbi Elizabeth Bahar  “Will the real Esther please stand up?!?”    Historically, was the description in the book of Esther of a woman named Esther possible? The story contained in the book is a perfect children’s story complete with a villain, a ridiculous leader and a noble queen.  Please join me through a guided adventure into the book to uncover a richer, deeper and more meaningful narrative




 Rabbi Courtney Berman Owning the Narrative: Purim as a Sign of Our Resiliency”: Our stories – and how we tell those stories – play a critical role in shaping our worldview.  Purim recalls a time in our history when our people were vulnerable and threatened with death, yet we mark the holiday with boisterous partying, feasting, and laughter.  We will consider the impact this has in defining a Jewish worldview, what that worldview includes, and how it benefits us.  



Rabbi Michael Birnholz  Groggers for Grown ups – Harmony and Cacophony: How much racket should we make?  Is there a danger in too much Jewish pride?  Are we being too quiet and we need to make a better effort at shaking things up with a lot of noise? 



Rabbi Bruce Benson“Esther and Ethics”: Are they one and the same?





Rabbi Estelle Mills American Jewish Humor:  Let us laugh on Purim by going back in time and learning about the various periods of American Jewish humor from Vaudeville to the Borsht Belt to modern-day and everything in-between.  We will enjoy some video clips from a few of the many American Jewish comedians and see how Jewish humor has changed over the years.  

Rabbi Mills’ bio: https://templebatyam-oc.org/rabbi-clergy/

Cantor Sara Kheel Feminism in Megilat Esther:  Esther and Vashti have very different personalities. Vashti is willful and independent, and Esther is passive. Together, they help us understand the megillah from a feminist perspective.


  Rabbi Matt Durbin Purim around the world: A tour of how communities around the world celebrate Purim