Enclosed is a traditional Purim Cellphone. As many of you may know, the tradition of giving cellphones on Purim goes back thousands of years. Some of the reasons for this custom are obvious from the Megillah itself, others require the great insight of our Sages:
· The Megilla is called an “igeret,” or, “cellphone.”
· Queen Vashti refused to pick up the cellphone when Achashverosh called, sending the King into voice mail. (Achashverosh hates voice mail, and had Vashti killed.)
· Esther won the “Persian Idol” contest via SMS (cellphone text message) votes, leading to her becoming the new Queen.
· In Shushan’s Castle Gate restaurant, two military jerks talking loudly into the Bluetooth headsets for their cellphones ignored common decency and common sense – their plot to commit treason was overheard by Mordechai, the wait staff, and half the patrons. Achashverosh had the two men killed.
· Haman asked everyone to bow down to him. The Megillah uses the phrase, “korim u-mishtachavim,” – prostrate and bow down. Our Sages bring down that the double language of both “kor-im” and “mishtachavim” indicates that not only did Haman require people to bow down, but he also wanted them to play his ring tone on their cellphones whenever he walked by.
· When Mordechai was dressed inappropriately for the castle, Esther called him on her cellphone. This cellphone was important enough that the Megillah lists the brand name, a “Hasach.” Ibn Ezra has traced this to an early iteration of Nokia; Finland was not one of the 127 provinces and was negotiating a trade agreement with Persia at the time.
· When Achashverosh couldn’t sleep, he listened to music from Kenny G and D’veykus on his musicphone. When that (surprisingly) didn’t help, he downloaded a podcast from the Persian History Channel.
· After Esther told Achashverosh that Haman planned to kill the Jews, Achashverosh stormed out of the room. Upon his return, he discovered Haman taking pictures of Esther on his cameraphone and uploading them to flickr. This outraged the king, and Haman was killed.
· Haman had sent evites out to kill all the Jews. (Half the 127 provinces didn’t respond because it went straight to their spam filters, but Mordechai was concerned all the same.) Mordechai called each province that was In Network on his cellphone personally, and sent out text messages to the rest.
· Once appointed viceroy of Persia, Mordechai was given a blinged out cellphone, a blue and white “LVSH” (Chazal suggest that it was similar to a Motorola RAZR) with gold inlay and a purple linen case.
Happy Purim from the Greengart Family