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The Purim Story

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The Purim Story
By Rav Avi Geller
Voices from Jerusalem, (1999)
Aish HaTorah Media Center
A Lecture on 2 Audio Cassettes - Tape# GA087 A & B

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - February 24, 2002

Rav Ari Geller is a vibrant, energetic lecturer who's teaching style is relaxed. It is apparent that he enjoys teaching and sharing his knowledge, and his excitement for learning is contagious. The Purim Story was recorded live as Rav Geller gave a discourse on the story of Purim. During the course of this lively lecture, Rav Geller studies the Megillat Esther (Scroll of Esther), chapter by chapter.

Not only does Rav Geller discuss the story of Purim, but he also gives you an insiders look at what went on behind the scenes. He explains how Achashverosh came to power, why Vashti, his wife, was disposed of, and how it came to be that a nice Jewish girl such as Esther (Hadassah) came to be Queen of Persia. Rav Geller also explains some facts that you may not be aware of, such as the true nature of Mordecai and Esther's relationship. He also explains why this relationship and other interesting tidbits are not spelled out clearing in the text.

This exhilarating lecture was given before a live audience, and Rav Geller answers questions from the audience. The lecture is given in English, with only a few passages read in Hebrew, which are then translated into English. This lecture is suitable for 'beginners' as well as more advance students who want a refresher course on the story of Purim.

While the main focus of this lecture is the study of the events chronicled in the Megillat Esther, Rav Geller also touches on some associated topics that are only briefly touched on in the Purim story itself. Such as Jewish life in Shushan, why the Jews of Israel were taken into exile in two groups, the prophecy surrounding the 70-years that it was decreed that the Babylonian exile would last and how this 70-year period was counted, the significance of Haman's Amalek background, and why Haman disliked Mordecai so very much. Rav Geller also discusses various customs associated with Purim, such as the wearing of masks and the giving away gifts of food. He also discuss how when the Jews of Shushan sinned by attending King Achashverosh's party, they set into motion the events that were to follow. More important, he discusses how, in a book in which HaShem's name is never mentioned that this is a story infused with HaShem's presence. Rav Geller also points out that the Jewish people accepted the Torah twice. At Sinai, we accepted the written Torah and at Purim we accepted the Oral Law.

While Purim is 'fun' holiday, it also has a deep religious significance. Rav Geller's lecture will help you gain a clear understanding of the basic story of Purim, while at the same time introducing you to the story behind the story. Presented in a lively, humorous style, you can not help but be enthralled by Rav Geller's discourse on Purim - The Purim Story.

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