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Purim and the Subversion of Law

Purim and the Subversion of Law

Feb 09, 2021

The Jewish legal system, the Torah, is thrust upon the people at Sinai. But different texts, and the laws of Purim, put the authority of the law in question. Here's a short video summary of the shiur. You can see the sourcesheet we used here.

The hero of the shiur today was Rabbi Moshe Isserles, and his philosophical commentary on the book of Esther known as Mechir Yayin. He escaped his hometown of Krakow because of 'rotten air', a plague that was causing mass death. In poverty, as a refugee, he can't afford the traditional Purim gifts, and composes this commentary, showing that the whole story of Esther is a metaphor for an Aristotelian construct of the soul. This was a dangerous opinion - but, as he writes in the introduction, "Hey, it's Purim!"

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