All Mosaic members are invited to celebrate Purim on this coming Wednesday 23rd March.
At 6:30pm there will be a reading of Megillat Esther with Rabbi Arberman, a spiel / pantomime with music and a fancy dress parade.
At 7.45pm refreshments will be served. At 8.15 there will be a discussion: From Ahasuerus’s Palace to Trump’s Tower: Reflections on Leadership and Toxicity
In the Purim story, King Ahasuerus comes across as a buffoonish party-animal. But his behaviour towards Queen Vashti, his wife, is pugnacious and publicly bullying. Haman and Mordecai, who mirror each other in terms of mutual hostility, are players in this this court of toxic debauchery. Both display sheer ruthlessness towards their enemies and, in the end, Mordecai triumphantly leads the slaughter of Haman and all those who would’ve murdered him and the Jews.
Nowadays, there’s no shortage of ‘Bunga-Bunga’ among the powerful (Berlusconi is but one example). Even more prevalent and dangerous is their pugnacious and bullying public rhetoric. Only ‘winning’ and ‘winners’ matter. Trump is but one more example of such leaders and would-be leaders. Playing on the fears and frustrations of an angry public, such authoritarians threaten and deliver violence and political repression against ethnic scapegoats cast as ‘losers’. There is no room for qualities such as compassion, mercy and justice let alone thinking beyond mere tabloid-reasoning.
Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith and Victor Seedman will lead a session to examine and discuss the concerns of modern commentators with respect to these painfully pertinent issues.