The Purim story is relevant to American Jews today in the themes of charges of dual loyalty, and marriage outside of Judaism. Contemporary political leaders continue to argue that Jews can’t be trusted if they are loyal to Israel and the threat of assimilation is ongoing. Both of these elements are prominent in the Book of Esther. In the 1860’s, the idea of a Purim Ball was introduced to downplay the Persian influence and to make Jews important in Manhattan’s upper crust.
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