Sunday, March 4, 2012

Esther Goes Western: The Purim Megillah as Cowboy Epic


We've all seen classic plays such as Shakespearean tragedies restaged with modern sets and costumes and the morality and ethics of the basic story retold in a contemporary light. But until now we haven't seen the Book of Esther as an animated saga of the wild west, with nods to Clint Eastwood and the spaghetti western, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Here is a video retelling the whole Esther story in western style, with appropriate background music. Written and directed by Shlomo Blass, the commentary is based on traditional Jewish sources and an essay written by Rabbi Jonathan Blass: "Pluralism, Antisemtism, and man's strive to divinity".

Rabbi Blass, Rosh Kollel of Ratzon Yehuda and its founder, is a graduate of Mercaz Harav Kook and Kollel Shevet Mehokek in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Blass made aliyah in 1970 from the US where he had studied at Yeshiva University and Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim. He served as an officer in the IDF as rabbi of a tank brigade and currently also serves as the rabbi of Neve Tzuf, a religious community in the Shomron. In addition to numerous articles on halachic subjects, Rabbi Blass has written two books, one in comparative law, and the other in Jewish philosophy on Rambam's Guide to the Perplexed.

The video is dedicated in memory of the director's friend Udi Fogel, who last March was killed with members of his family in a terrorist attack in Itamar.

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)