Sacred or Profane: Practices of Purim
Miriam Gedwiser / February 15, 2015
We will will review the four mitzvot of Purim - megillah, mishloach manot, matanot le-evyonim (gifts to the poor), and the festive meal, as well as various folk practices that accrued to the holiday overtime (including dressing up, "Purim Torah," and many others). In addition to outlining the basics of the laws, we will attempt to understand what basic themes and values run through the various laws and practices, and what they tell us about the meaning of Purim.
Miriam Gedwiser is a faculty member at Drisha and teaches Talmud and Tanakh at the Ramaz Upper School. She has a B.A. in the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from N.Y.U. School of Law. Miriam studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum and in the Drisha Scholar’s circle. She previously practiced commercial litigation at a large law firm and clerked for the Hon. Debra Freeman, U.S.M.J., in Manhattan. Miriam serves as a guest lecturer at synagogues and programs around the Northeast, and has written on topics of Jewish and Torah interest for The Lehrhaus, The Forward, the Center for Modern Torah Leadership blog, and Project 929. Miriam lives Teaneck, New Jersey with her family.