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While not as complex as the Torah scrolls, the Megillah is also an important ritual object at Beth El.  Congregation Beth El’s Megillah is also from what is now the Czech Republic and is estimated to be over 250 years old.  The beginning and end panels of the Megillah were replaced over 100 years ago, and the entire Megillah was restored and re-koshered in 2009.  It resides in a case constructed by Jerry Weintraub, one of our congregants, and is stored in the Ark.

Some of the characters in the Megillah have embellishments that look like pomegranates. Pomegranates feature in the story of Queen Esther and the feast she put on for King Ahashuerus.

It is a mitzvah to hear or read the story of Esther from the Megillah on Purim. It is said that one who “reads the megillah backwards” has not fulfilled their obligation. The story in the Megillah is meant to remind us that in all generations, there are those who would plot our destruction. “Reading the Megillah backwards” means to think of the Purim story as a historical marker, with no relevance to society today.


Tue, December 5 2023 22 Kislev 5784