Be happy, it's Adar!
Happy Adar, everyone. Get your costumes ready, give the groggers a preparatory whirl, and pre-heat your hamantashen-baking ovens, because Purim is coming! (Well, actually, not until next month, since this is a Jewish leap year, with two months of Adar).
In the meantime, I thought I'd call your attention to a new way to look at Queen Esther -- a teaching resource that compares her with feminist activist Bella Abzug. What could these two figures possibly have in common, you ask? Both Bella Abzug and Queen Esther were courageous women, involved in high stake political power struggles. Both women took a stand for the Jews. They each faced discrimination toward women. Each of them used their wits in threatening situations. And both women chose an appearance and personae that helped them to achieve their goals.
So check it out, and discuss: what lessons do these women teach us? How do women today hide their identities in order to fight for justice? When does our dress become a message of freedom and when does it distract people from hearing important messages? How do women of today alter their appearances to conform to society's image of femininity?