Purim: #metoo #ustoo

It’s hard to comprehend what the protagonist Esther was going through in the Purim narrative…can you imagine?

Akin to vulnerable actresses perching on the casting sofas of Hollywood…she struggles to enter the “rape palace” of the Persian king Achashverosh…

Esther wasn’t even her real name, but a stage name. Her actual name was a more serene and elegant Hadassah.

Esther was a form of pagan code, like Easter or like Ishtar – the pagan goddess of fertility.

She was all dressed up, with a subliminal mask; Esther means masking or hiddenness.

Ala Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut,” Esther enters a dark masked power carnival of life, sex and death.

Her story begins as a vulnerable young maiden, an orphan too. And hiding many secrets about herself.

The Purim story is indeed narrated from her book, the book of Esther. She is the story.

It is the book of the concealed…of truth, lies and subterfuge…of reality and fantasy…

…of what is really going on behind the scenes.

The story opens with a huge epic festival of abuse. The beauty queen Vashti is ordered by male power to appear naked at the orgy.

She refuses and is quickly culled, slaughtered, cut from the production. Masculinized crazed power.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe queries in a discourse, how could there have been a Jewish delegation to such a twisted pagent?

I imagine them sitting quiet and oblivious in the kosher section (perhaps with a little mehadrin Hermolis vacuum pack tray), whilst such animalism is happening all around them.

The Rebbe’s argument questions the moral limits of whether Jews can be involved in distorted world affairs, or whether they had no choice but to succumb to power.

It would be hard to imagine what sort of conversation starters there could be at the banquet table.

Or even worse like a Weinstein company staff slouching complicit to such awful destruction…and later just leaving it all up to bankruptcy and lawyers to bend and twist the truth.

One actress recalls the Weinstein production offices reeking of the stench of after hours sex.

These are and were the times when we fell. A spiritual death is far worse than a physical death.

The Talmud suggests the Jews had “blackened” faces, deriving “shachor” (blackness) from “Achashverosh”…

Dirty from all the darkness around them, they held diminished self worth and lack of Torah wisdom in a fallen generation.

We know only of 2 righteous Jews who successfully negotiated the king’s palace. E&M.

A cartoonish vision invokes Ivanka and Kushner attempting to sooth a rotund Trump, slumped watching Fox news on his decadent throne.

But the Purim story is a warning…of how many Jews were party to societal degradation.

An excessive number of Jews have been involved in Hollywood’s accusations.

Such distortions of reality…of “dimyon”…confused elevated senses of distorted masculine power.

Of women as mere sexual objects. Arn’t all Hollywood movies merely about the male gaze?

If Jews don’t keep their Brit holy, their potential greatness flushes way down the toilet to the other side, like vomit. And worse too from the dark. Enemies. Amalek.

Rebbe Nachman constantly pushed that the biggest challenge of Jews is to maintain sexual purity…the covenant with God.

The Rebbe says in Likutei Moharan 50…waste your seed and the dog gulps down all your prized dinner.

How many Jewish men are lost to the darkness of pornography?  This is our generation’s Purim story.

Its dark cheerleader: Harvey Weinstein…all his great accolades vanish.

Mutating into a weird biopic movie;  A dark mirror of self sadism.

Haman was hung on his own gallows.

The Talmud also questions Mordechai’s relationship to Esther.

She was an orphan, but were they relatives or were they in a relationship? Or both?

Most Talmudic sources say they were married. Which of course was secret.

This adds to the drama of the story, of her being thrown to the lion’s den.

Was Esther a sacrifice, to save the Jews?

Packaged for the king. Mordechai sadly watched on as she bravely entered alone the king’s inner palace of desolation.

Mordechai had no choice to but to let her go to non Jewish power, to save his kin.

No wonder he refused to bow to Haman. Self dignity was the last shred of personal decency he had left.

Whilst he watched his love be taken from him and defiled by power.

Esther was repeatedly raped by the king she was forced to be with. For 6 years says the Gemara of Megillah.

This didn’t count as adultery because she was unwilling, say the sages.

Babylon, the empiric pre-cursor to Persia, built huge phallic entities, like our modern metropolis.

The Zohar suggests that the tower of Bavel was used to pierce heaven, to corrupt it with demonic energy.

To bring the lower world into the higher…ultimately causing confusion.

The essence of Babylon is babble babble…everyone just talking talking on iphones, whatsapp, facebook, snapchat without any reprieve.

Babbling mesmerised by screens. A shadowy world.

This is the backdrop for the attempted genocide of the Jews.

In strolls a psychopath, Haman the Amalekite. The pur is cast.

The story’s most dramatic moment is pure Purim power play and irony.

Esther, for 6 years endured abuse. Decides alone, in order to save her people – she had to go alone to the king. She had not been with him for some time. The risk was death.

The result, say the sages – is that her voluntary approach meant she forced herself to not be with the man she really loved, her husband Mordechai.

Esther has changed. She made a huge decision, for the sake of all the Jews, she gave up her marriage and had to stay with the king forever in this life.

But for this heart and soul break she played her final hand.

Esther lures Haman to a feast. Now she is the master.

A total transformation from raped maiden to victor.

At a key juncture, a threatened, confused Haman trips and falls upon Esther.

The king turning to look, believing his prime minister is assaulting his queen.

“You try assault the queen in MY house!”

How dare you fight in the war room!

Without haste Haman is swinging off his own gallows.

Trump flicks out a chubby finger, “You’re fired!”

Esther represents #metoo and #ustoo.

The deepest struggle for true identity…that dreams to be free from power, distortion and oppression.

Where is Hashem? The director of this movie.

God’s name doesn’t appear in the credits. Anonymous?

Perhaps the place is all too dark for the King of Kings.


Check out our Purim movie.

I play Haman & produced it! Purim sameach.

About the Author
Elliott Leigh Tucker (aka Aleph) is an actor, artist and creative producer; appearing in Israeli TV comedies, underground theatres and has recently produced an art book "The Palace of Healing." He has been active in the Jewish community all his professional life.