OK, I know my writing has been kind of depressing lately. What can I do? It just mirrors my life and mood, and I'm not here to pretend or put on a show.
But with Purim just a week away, I'll try to get into the spirit of things and cover a couple of happier and/or Purim related topics from now through the holiday. Don't know if I have quite the free time / ambition / brilliance to attempt a parody for the Muqata Purim Carnival (and it would be hard to equal the marvelous ones done so far - bravo!) If I do get the inspiration though, I'm targeting either Soccer Dad or Shifra, so be warned!
But before anything else, I want to make the following statement loud and clear, because this drives me absolutely nuts every year:
Mordechai was not Esther's uncle!! Did everybody get that??? Not her uncle!!!
Megillas Esther (2:7) states quite clearly that the Esther was the daughter of Mordechai's uncle, Avichayil. That makes Esther and Mordechai first cousins, not uncle and niece!!
This uncle-niece bit has to be the most persistent "Jewish Urban Legend" of all time. If I ever start my JUL Web Site this will be the first topic. This mistake has probably been taught and re-taught over the years in the vast majority of yeshivos; I remember it from my school days and it's continued with my kids. The error has found its way into numerous children's books and even adult education Torah web sites and blogs that ought to know better!
I used to theorize that this infamous gaffe started with one slip of the tongue by a nameless Hebrew School teacher several generations ago, and then just perpetuated itself through the Jewish world like a diseased meme. But it keeps on cropping up too often, too consistently, and in too many different contexts to be attributable to any one origin. I'm utterly stumped as to how this same mistake gets made over and over again, year after year!
Gee, maybe this post will start a counter-influence. Maybe by next year everyone will know that Mordechai and Esther were - everyone together now: COUSINS!