SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 181: “Ma Num A Na!”

What do the Muppets and Haman of the Old Testament have in common…?

Answer… The Jewish holiday Purim.

“How can that be, I’ve read The Book of Esther, and there a not puppets written of.”

Well leave it to the minds of two very creative Rabbi’s, an enthusiastic congregation and the talents of puppeteer Renee (a close family friend of mine) and you have a fun-filled night of family and worship at Shomrei Torah Synagogue where I find myself, along with my daughter (care of Renee’s invitation) to take part in a Purim celebration.

The service is addictively entertaining, and with Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and The Cookie Monster leading center stage in telling the story of The Book of Esther, all in attendance are enthralled.

The plot goes like this, Esther belonged to God’s special people, the Jews. Esther and many other Jews lived in the land called Persia. Persia was a long way from their own land.

The king of Persia was angry with the queen and he sent her away. Then he searched for another wife who would be the new queen. He chose Esther.

One of the king’s chief officials, called Haman, hated the Jews and he plotted to destroy them. But Esther’s uncle Mordecai asked Esther to speak to the king to save the Jews. Although Esther was the queen, Mordecai was asking her to do a dangerous thing. People could not go to see the king if he had not invited them. But Esther did what Mordecai asked. The king was pleased with her and listened to her. The king gave to the evil Haman the punishment that Haman had wanted to give to the Jews.

The book of Esther does not mention the name of God. This is strange for a book that is in the Bible. Sometimes God seems to be silent. We might even think that he does not care about us. The writer of the book of Esther probably wanted his readers to realize that God is always in control. Although we cannot see God, he is always doing things in the world. Nobody can stop his plans. The events in the book of Esther show us that God is in control.”

“God is always in control,” a prefect background to capture the essence of today’s friend, the voice of Miss Piggy in this evening’s performance, the absolutely charming Linda.

As the Synagogue clears we grab a bench to sit and chat. Linda has a comfort about her and it makes sense that her light-hearted nature aided her in being part of the entertainment this evening. If you have ever performed you know it takes a certain letting go of mind and thought. The closest reference I can make is it’s like living in the moment, without obsession on the perceptions of others.

Linda speaks of her mind-set, “’My mother used to tell me, ‘Don’t worry until you have to.’”

Worry is a word that Linda does not possess in her vocabulary and it is evident in the ease of her countenance and the bond that she has with the congregation. In being with her, I am a passenger in her rapport with all those who she associates with, and it is apparent that Linda’s perspective is valued by all those who know her; now including myself.

Linda is full of hope and optimism, a difficult thing to have in these modern times.

“I see a time where the world will be at peace and the planet will survive. A world where people are going to be more tolerant of one another,” she proposes.

Her advice is simple, “Put yourself in the other person’s situation before you judge them, and always give all the benefit of the doubt.”

Not much else can I write; Linda has wrapped it up very well, wouldn’t you say.

Oh how about this, in tribute to our Muppet Friends…  “Ma Num A Na!”

Shameless Plug:
Linda is a specialist travel agent; her forte cruises. If the high seas are for you, here is her link: