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      The Eye of the Storm
      by Batya Medad
      A Unique Perspective by Batya Medad of Shiloh
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      Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.)  Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching.  She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:

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      Adar Bet 13, 5768, 3/20/2008

      Behind Hester's Pannim


      As long as Hester's Megillah is, it doesn't quite have everything. If it did, we'd be reading it until Pesach. Since I'm a well-known blogger, I got a call…
       
      This was quite a call. It was from a Persian immigrant, who lives not far away. This Persian guy had inherited an ancient pillow from his great-great-grandmother. The pillow had been passed on for generations and generations. Nobody knew for how long. Everyone took good care of it; that is until recently.
       
      Today's children are just… well, you can guess, I guess. The person who called me had discovered his little grandchildren destroying it. Their parents don't believe in the word "no." And they didn't care what their kids did:
      "You can get a nicer pillow for grushim in Shuk Ramle Lod! So, what's the big deal?"
       
      But the Persian Zaydie didn't listen to his kinder and rescued his precious heirloom. But even though better late than never, it was too late for the pillow. It had popped.
       
      Gevalt! You wouldn't believe what he found inside. No, not precious stones. He found old pages wrapped in yellowed silk. They were hard to understand, not being in contemporary Hebrew or even the Persian he had learned in school.
       
      Being a modern sort of guy, he first copied everything on his scanner, enlarged it and printed it all. By the time he finished, the pages had almost totally disintegrated. He made a few copies and went off on his quest to discover the hidden message.
       
      He found a few elderly sages and divided the pages among them. They all agreed that in the format they had received, too much was missing to understand the story. Those guys were no dummies. They got him to admit that they had only received parts of it, so they got out their phones and had a conference call to put the pieces together.
       
      I'll tell you in short. Hester's story in the Megillah leaves out a few things. First of all, Mordechai was not all that a popular person. Not only was Haman against him, but most of the Jews considered him a spoil sport at best. He was old-fashioned and embarrassed them by being "so Jewish," never trying to fit into the enlightened Persian society. He was making trouble for them; at least that's the way they saw it.
       
      The "Elite" of the Jews worked for Haman in the Judenrat; they knew on which side of the bread they'd find honey and almond spread.
       
      Mordechai sat by the king's gate, because they had thrown him out of his office. Things got really bad during the war between Haman and the Jews. It was a sezon to end all sezons. Some of the Judenrat was giving names of fighting and loyal Jews to Haman. They even attacked their fellow Jews.
       
      There is more, but the experts are having trouble deciphering most of it.
       
      Chag Purim Sameach
      Have a Truly Joyful Purim
      From the Ancient City of Shiloh