Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Introducing Tuesday Torah...

PurimParty with FrumeSarah and ImaBima

We each have our own Torah*. It may vary from day to day or even from hour to hour.
(*Torah is the Hebrew word that means "doctrine or teaching" and refers to the Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. It is often used to refer to the bulk of Jewish teaching in a general sense. Aside from the power that it holds for me as my favorite book, I like to think of "torah with a small-t" as our own personal stories, our own personal truths.)

We all hold these ideas inside us that are screaming to get out.

Sometimes they are profound.

Sometimes they are inspiring.

Sometimes they teach us.

Sometimes they are brave or revelatory or interesting or funny or silly or sad.

But they are the truth, and they are ours.

So I invite you to seek truth, to share truth, and to open yourself up to truth...every Tuesday here at Ima on and off the Bima, we will celebrate our own Torah, our own truth.

What's yours?

This week, in honor of Purim...my Torah:
I much prefer the character of Vashti in the Purim story. Vashti was the one who said "no way" to her husband when he demanded that she dance naked. Vashti stood up for what she believed in, and she didn't mess around when his indiscretions (what an annoying term) came out.

Esther did what she was told. She listened to her cousin Mordechai, she dressed up in her pretty clothes and went before the king. I'm not discounting her own bravery, but I'm saying that she did what she was asked to do. She wasn't the type to say no to her family. She baked cookies and did what was expected of her.

I'm not always interested in what others expect of me. Like Vashti, I want to be able to say no to the things I don't want to do, the things that I feel are a contradiction of my own personal values and beliefs.

Vashti was sent away from the presence of the king. She won her freedom - she won the right to own herself and say and do what she wanted. She earned it. And we all earn it every day.

I'd rather hear her story, I think, than the story of Esther. I know, I know, the Book is named for her. I know, I know, that she is the heroine, the savior of her people in a tight spot. But the stories of the girls like Vashti tend to be a bit more interesting.

And that's my Torah this Tuesday.

What's yours? Leave a comment linking to your Torah post. See you here next Tuesday!

Join the Purim Party! Check out what Frume Sarah has to say today too!


Reiza said...

See, THAT'S why I wanted to be Vashti. Although, Ester is a hero in her own right. She was intelligent and brave. Still, Vashti has a much better story. It's like Lilith vs. Eve.

Purim is just perfect for Women's History month, don't you think?

Hmmm...I need to think on the Torah thing, though. I've never thought of Torah that way. It's going to take some getting used to.

Reiza said...

Okay, after some thought, I posted on the topic. I don't know if it's exactly what you were looking for, but it's what I was inspired to write:

Robin said...

Vashti always struck me as the more interesting character too. Esther may have been brave, but she was also a bit of a barbie doll, wasn't she?

Rebecca Einstein Schorr said...

Yay -- thanks for thinking that what I wrote about being truly present is worth reading!!

After mulling over "my Torah" for a few days, it is up!!

Ms Carolyn said...

Well, you asked for it. You can find my personal "torah with a small -t" (or the beginnings of it!) at http://godtalker.blogspot.com/

I love this idea. Keep it up!