A Feminist Midrash for Purim

By Rabbi Tamara Cohen

As we prepare to celebrate Purim, which is coming up on March 6-7 this year, Moving Traditions offers you an interesting perspective to discuss at your Purim seudah (meal), to share with the teen in your life, or to share with your local teen youth group advisor or clergy.

In the Purim story, as told in Megilat Esther, we meet two queens: Esther and Vashti. Often we talk about who was the better queen or the better feminist. But let’s explore something different:

What if Esther and Vashti had a chance to be in a community together? 

Vashti, the leader who says no, I’m leaving, I’m in charge of my own body. I’m willing to risk everything for what I know to be right. 

And Esther, the leader who takes her time; considers her choices and how to stay safe; who calls upon her community for support and leads her people to safety; and ultimately risks everything for what she knows is right. 

What could they have learned from each other? Using this discussion guide, Recovering the Lost Sisterhood of Vashti & Esther, you and your teens can create your own feminist Midrash.

We at Moving Traditions wish you a Happy Purim, filled with joy, hope, and community.