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: hillelFriends,The Talmud (Megillah 7b) tells a somewhat bizarre story about oneparticular Purim. Rabba invites Rabbi Zeira to a Purim seudah(festive meal). Knowing full well that the tradition invokes ourneed to drink until we can’t tell the difference between Mordechaiand Haman (what’s known as ‘ad d’lo yada’), Rabba and Rabbi Zeiraindulge to the fullest possible degree. At the height of theirrevelry, Rabba rises and slays Rabbi Zeira. The next morning,waking from his drunken stupor, Rabba realizes what he has done andis filled with great regret. He prays passionately to God for therestoration of Rabbi Zeira’s soul. God fulfills his prayer and RabbiZeira is resurrected. The following year, when Rabba invites RabbiZeira 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 betweengood and evil, but to behave responsibly and look out for the wellbeing of your friends. While the story of Rabba and Rabbi Zeira isextreme, it’s still instructive, reminding us that a responsiblecelebration of Purim is a requirement, lest our joy be mixed withtears over any number of flawed decisions made when our judgment ishampered and our thinking is unclear.Please remember that classes are in session (Thursday night) and thatthe spaces in which we are celebrating throughout Purim are used forany variety of purposes in addition to (if not simultaneous with)ours. If at any point, for any reason, you find yourselves or yourfellow revelers in need of assistance from either Hillel orUniversity staff (including BEMCO), don’t hesitate.Celebrate. Be joyous. Be responsible.Happy Purim!Rabbi Elyse WinickInterim 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?