Funniest thing since Seinfeld?

Happy Purim! This email was forwarded to me from a friend of mine who goes to Brandeis. It’s the campus rabbi urging us not to drink too much on this joyous holiday.

Subject: [Hillel] A few words about Purim from Rabbi Winick!
To: hillel
The Talmud (Megillah 7b) tells a somewhat bizarre story about one
particular Purim. Rabba invites Rabbi Zeira to a Purim seudah
(festive meal). Knowing full well that the tradition invokes our
need to drink until we can’t tell the difference between Mordechai
and Haman (what’s known as ‘ad d’lo yada’), Rabba and Rabbi Zeira
indulge to the fullest possible degree. At the height of their
revelry, Rabba rises and slays Rabbi Zeira. The next morning,
waking from his drunken stupor, Rabba realizes what he has done and
is filled with great regret. He prays passionately to God for the
restoration of Rabbi Zeira’s soul. God fulfills his prayer and Rabbi
Zeira is resurrected. The following year, when Rabba invites Rabbi
Zeira to his Purim seudah once more, Rabbi Zeira demurs, saying,
‘miracles don’t happen twice.’
As you prepare for your own revelry on this most joyous of days,
please keep in mind your obligation not only to blur the line between
good and evil, but to behave responsibly and look out for the well
being of your friends. While the story of Rabba and Rabbi Zeira is
extreme, it’s still instructive, reminding us that a responsible
celebration of Purim is a requirement, lest our joy be mixed with
tears over any number of flawed decisions made when our judgment is
hampered and our thinking is unclear.
Please remember that classes are in session (Thursday night) and that
the spaces in which we are celebrating throughout Purim are used for
any variety of purposes in addition to (if not simultaneous with)
ours. If at any point, for any reason, you find yourselves or your
fellow revelers in need of assistance from either Hillel or
University staff (including BEMCO), don’t hesitate.
Celebrate. Be joyous. Be responsible.
Happy Purim!
Rabbi Elyse Winick
Interim Jewish Chaplain

I realized that I never mentioned when it was St. Patrick’s Day, but I hope everyone enjoyed that joyous holiday as well. Do you think the students at Notre Dame received a similar note?


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