Schweitzer purimspiel 2012
THE YEAR OF ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION
by Rabbi Peter Schweitzer and Oren Schweitzer
Purim is the Jewish holiday of merriment that celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from the ancient Persian Empire. It is commemorated annually with the reading of the Book of Esther – the Megillah – and will take place this year on the evening of March 6. The story recounts a nefarious plot by the evil Haman, the vizier to King Ahaseurus, who schemes to destroy the Jewish people. But Haman’s plans are thwarted by Queen Esther, who has infiltrated the Royal Court as a replacement to the King’s self-respecting wife Vashti who refused to display her beauty before the king and his princes wearing only her royal crown. The king relies on his coterie of advisers and chamberlains for guidance. Esther, in turn, receives secret communiqués from her cousin Mordecai, but it is clear that she is an independent operator who must fulfill her mission to protect the Jews using only her own resources. Starting in the 1400s, new versions of the story, known as Purimspiels, emerged side by side with the traditional one. These popular re-tellings have taken on a life of their own as satiric parodies of current events and political leaders. It didn’t hurt the appeal to include risque references and bawdy language.
Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus…
King A: I have called you together because you are my most self-aggrandizing advisers who aspire to steal from the poor and give to the rich when you’re not plotting to unseat me from my throne. I have a grave problem that troubles me deeply. I will tell you in strict confidence. My marriage is rotting away. Vashti no longer shows interest in me. We don’t eat together, we barely spend time together, she won’t dance for me and we certainly don’t sleep together. I know I can’t perform the way I used to, but I have needs. I can make it work. I have Viagra. But she won’t play along. What should I do? Rick Perry: Well I’ll tell ya. In my state we execute ‘em. Simple as that. So you make a mistake once in a while and they’re innocent, oops. But don’t let that bother you. You just got to get past your first one. It’s simple after that. Then you can go get yourself a replacement wife. Mitt Romney: Well, Rick, I’ll bet you $10,000 that I’m the real conservative here because I’ve conserved the same adoring wife for forty-two years and I am absolutely unapologetic about the way she hoists my flag. She knows the way around my private sector and it makes me want to sing “O beautiful, for spacious skies” everything time our stocks divide and we give each other compound interest. How else do you think I have a whole bunch of good-looking sons, each with their own trust fund? Yes, I’m definitely in favor of marriage for the long haul – but not between gays – and I don’t think killing off the wife is a solution and I don’t care for divorce, and I’m not concerned about the poor who have a safety net, but you could do what my grandfather did and get yourself another wife or two or three while you’re at it. It worked plenty well for him and personally I’d do it myself in a heartbeat, except for the part of having to flee
the country. So I don’t know, yes, no, it’s hard to say. Let me flip flop on it a little more and I’ll get back to you. Donald Trump: Simple. I just have two words to say: Fire her. Newt Gingrich – The problem is that the moderate liberal Saul Alinsky communists are a disaster and want to deprive us of our freedom to be pompous bloviating hypocrites spouting pious baloney. I know exactly where you’re coming from. For every grandiose man there needs to be a woman who is fawning, obedient, deferential, and, most important, compliant. But no need to get upset about it. Just have an affair like I did. And if that gets worn out, go on to the next and don’t worry, God will forgive you for all your horrible deeds. Herman Cain – I don’t believe in serial relations. I believe in simultaneous elations. One affair, two affairs, have ‘em all at once, a different woman in every pizza parlor! Then deny, deny, deny. Ron Paul – The problem is not Vashti, but all the money you’re spending on her. She’ll suck you dry with all the lavishments you adorn on her. No more earmarks. No more earrings. No more foreign trips. Domestic travel only. Cut the credit cards. Eliminate the fed. She’ll come around. Rick Santorum – No, no, no! I’m the true petulant conservative here. I believe in monogamy. Not bigamy, not polygamy. Not polyamory or adultery. I believe in old-fashioned traditional sex. Man on top, woman on the bottom, nothing fancy. No tricky gymnastics, no animals, no whips – well, actually, that might be fun – but definitely no animals. And absolutely no contraceptives. And while I’m at it, no prenatal testing either. And definitely no abortion, not even for rape or incest. Michelle Bachman – I look to Scripture for guidance and there it is in the 3rd chapter of the Book of Peter, verse one: “The Lord says, 'Be submissive wives; you are to be submissive to your husbands.’" That’s how we do it in our home when I tell Marcus to have his way with me. You need to make clear who is boss. You need to introduce Vashti to a few rounds of Electro Aversion Therapy. It’s very simple. Just shock her brain a few times and she’ll come crawling after you, of course maybe with some drool running down her mouth, but definitely she’ll be putty in your hands. Rich Billionaire – For the record, I’m not here and we’ve never talked and I’m not coordinating anything but maybe the airwaves will somehow get inundated with anti-Vashti messages and she’ll just have to “pack” up – wink, wink – and get off your back. This all seemed fine to King A and his advisers, who relied on shameless lobbyists and mega-rich one-percenters to underwrite their underhanded schemes and nefarious plots. And now that the Vashti-problem was solved, King A and his advisers moved on to debate their preferred methods of voter suppression and tax evasion.
But at this very moment, unbeknownst to King A and his advisers, who were lulling themselves into a stupor by drinking copious amounts of spiked tea, President Barack of Obama, Rightly Elected and Birthed Potentate of America, had given the “go ahead” to implement the Vashti Rescue and Extraction Operation. That’s because Vashti was no ordinary Persian trophy wife. She was really a deep undercover CIA agent for the Forces of Nuclear Non-Proliferation and she had memorized the access codes to all the Iranian Missile Sites. But now her time to go had come. And so, under the cloak of darkness, Navy Seals parachuted into Shushan and extricated Vashti from the king’s clutches. But before they departed they used the secret access codes to incapacitate all the Persian Nuclear Warhead Devices of Mass Destruction. They left behind their calling card: A bag of condoms and safe sex literature courtesy of Planned Parenthood. The Seals were led anonymously by Captain Rachel “Geek” Maddow, along with the best frigging team in cable combat, Ed “Straight-talk” Schultz, Chris “Choirboy” Matthews, Al “The Reverend” Sharpton, and Lawrence “Last-word” O’Donnell. When Vashti was discovered missing King A shed no tears, but he was bummed out that all his missiles had been destroyed. He called for all the eligible young women in the land to appear before him so that he could pick a new wife who would get his private missiles launched again. Now President Barack had one last card up his sleeve in his own scheme to secure his own position by finally overthrowing King A and restoring justice, decency and compassion to the land. President Barack called in Hillary of Rodham, chief of the secretarial pool and master of dangerous diplomacy and withering looks. “Hillary,” said Barack, “I need you to get inside the King’s palace. Go enter King A’s contest for a new wife. You always wanted to be queen, so here’s your chance.” Now Hillary didn’t hesitate for a moment even though she was putting herself at risk if she was discovered. In fact, that might be Barack’s real secret agenda. He’d get her out of the way and she could no longer be a threat to his future. But Hillary was willing to take her chances. She was feeling bored and actually had been thinking of retiring, in spite of her fan club that was plotting to overthrow Barack of Obama and install her in his place. But now she could go out with a bang. It was time to settle old grievances and pull off one final mission. Plus Bill of Clinton was never around and she could use a little excitement of her own. So Hillary entered the contest for the New Queen of Persia and handily beat off all her considerably younger opponents who couldn’t match her irresistible charms. Once coronated, she wasted no time taking charge of King A’s administration and pushed through her human rights, gay rights and animal rights agendas. But she drew the line at husbandry rights. In fact, she wouldn’t let the king even touch her. She was waiting for the right moment, so she told him. Meanwhile, the King had called upon his most malevolent adviser, Scott Governor Walker, to get revenge on whomever was responsible for knocking out his missile launchers in the first place. When Walker told King A that it was the Jewish liberal unionists that were responsible and that they should be busted, Queen Hillary revealed to King A that not only was she a liberal union member herself, but she was also a member of the ACLU and NARAL and, horror of horrors, her son-in-law was a nice Jewish boy! Rather than bust the union, it was time, Hillary
said, for Walker to be recalled and hung from a ten-foot scaffold. Moreover, women’s reproductive rights needed to be protected, not dismantled. And so it came to pass that Walker was eliminated and the king’s other obstructionist political hacks hightailed it out of town before the local caucuses could deal them the same fate. Of course, President Barack was thrilled at this great turn of events that did wonders for his virility. However as quickly as he surged, he just as rapidly was deflated by rumors that Hillary might now put off retirement after all and allow an exploratory committee to pursue her own electability. But Barack’s electile dysfunctioning was only momentary. He really wasn’t that worried. Even though the culture wars were heating up again, his ratings were climbing all over the place, the one-percenters were running for their tax shelters, and Veep Joe “We Can Work it Out” Biden had gotten the Catholic Church off his back, at least for the time being. And here’s the twist. When Barack sent his emissary Bill of Clinton to bring Hillary of Rodham back home, Hillary respectfully declined, albeit with her trademark chuckle and gladsome smile. She was staying put in Persia. She liked being Queen. King A wasn’t such a bad guy after all. Of course all the people of Persia celebrated, especially the Jewish liberal unionists whose jobs were spared. And they made it a holiday, and they called it Poor-Him, to commemorate the hanging of poor, bedraggled Scott Governor Walker. And somebody came up with the idea of eating fruit-filled dough that are called hamenstashen and have no apparent connection to the holiday, but what’s a holiday without its own special food? And someone else came up with the idea of drinking excessive amounts of wine to forget this whole episode, but when you forget history it tends to repeat itself. So better to settle on moderate drinking, casual frolicking, and making yet another donation to the re-election campaigns of all the good defenders of decency, democracy and universal human rights. And maybe, just maybe, in four years Hillary of Rodham will be all relaxed and refreshed and ready to reclaim her old abode on Pennsylvania Avenue. Dreams do sometimes come to pass. Rabbi Peter H. Schweitzer is the leader of The City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism in New York City (www.citycongregation.org). Oren Schweitzer is a politically-savvy fifth-grader who is getting an education in current events and ribald humor.
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