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Please write an introduction, formatted for the book.

Each answer here should be a proposed introduction, following this template. Follow these style guidelines.

Please take inspiration from the categories and questions on this list. Feel free to borrow ideas from the Hagada's introduction.

Important: The body of your answer should contain only the proposed content, ready for import into the final document. Use comments for any additional information.

Voting: If you down-vote a submission, please leave a comment saying what needs to be changed. Or edit; this is meant to be collaborative.

Please complete submissions by Wednesday, February 26 so we have time to compile the supplement in time for Purim.

Thank you all. Ready, set, go. :-)

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What should be done for a person whose honor I desire?

We overheard you asking: I love how Purim is all about giving -- gifts of money for the poor and gifts of food for my friends. This year, I want to honor the people around me by giving them something that doesn't just meet their physical needs (or further indulge their sweet tooth), but provides something their brains and souls can enjoy. What would they all like to have? I'd give them each up to half my kingdom, but there are more than two of them!

We can’t help but jump in: How about a little book of great questions and answers related to Purim, asked and answered by people from all over the Internet? “Purim - Mi Yodeya?” has something for everyone: analysis of the Megilla, discussion of Purim practices, and, in back, some of the stuff that bubbles up when people who think about Judaism a lot get a little bit carried away with the Purim spirit.

The questions and answers all come from Mi Yodeya, the awesome online Jewish Q&A community on the StackExchange.com network.

Here's what makes it awesome: all the sharing. One person thinks of an interesting question and puts it out there. A couple of others think of sources that help address that question and share those. Still others vote the best stuff up and the worst down. Before you know it, there's a polished, multifaceted gem of Jewish knowledge, assembled by a bunch of people who might not even know each other, up there on the web for everyone to enjoy. And this happens over and over and over, so that after Mi Yodeya's first few years, we have a collection of over 8,500 answered questions for the world to read.

As a special Purim present for you and your friends, we've hand-picked this little selection of questions and answers. Please print out a copy for yourself and, in the spirit of Purim, pass a few on to your friends. If you want to just direct them to the link where they can download “Purim - Mi Yodeya?” themselves, send them to s.tk/miyodeya.

If you want to get in on the knowledge-sharing, come visit us! You can start with one of the questions used in this book by following the link at the end of the question, or come straight to our homepage at mi.yodeya.com to see what people have been asking and answering most recently and to post your own questions and answers.

Two quick things before you start digging in to the treats in the following pages. First, how much authority would you assign a crowd of your friends in deciding questions of Jewish law? Don't give the answers about Jewish law in this book any more sway; if you really need to know what to do, please consult your own rabbi. Second, the section in the back, labeled "Purim Torah"? That's by the same friends, but with a few, uh, days of Adar happiness under their belts. Please don't take anything you find back there seriously at all.

Enjoy!

The Mi Yodeya community
Purim 5774

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    This needs editing. It probably rambles. It probably overuses terms. It probably doesn't say everything it needs to. It probably both takes too much risk with respect to tone in some places and keeps it too dry in others. Please edit and comment! – Isaac Moses Feb 25 '14 at 8:09
  • Some questions from the Megilla that I didn't [yet] incorporate: "Why do you transgress the will of the King?" (3:3) "Mi Yodeya if for a time like this, you achieved X?" (4:14) "Who is it, and where is he, whose heart drove him to do such a thing?" (7:5) – Isaac Moses Feb 25 '14 at 8:12
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    In the to-print version, I'd set off the URLs from the running text. Perhaps underlined or boldfaced or fixed-width or with slightly larger letter spacing. – msh210 Feb 25 '14 at 15:07
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    Needs an explicit invitation for feedback, including a reference to Mi.Yodeya@gmail.com – Isaac Moses Feb 25 '14 at 15:41
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    Nice first draft! Either at the end of the intro or in a separate place in the back of the book, we also need to mention the haggadah. – Monica Cellio Feb 25 '14 at 17:18
  • @MonicaCellio, I'm thinking definitely on the back cover, possibly also here. – Isaac Moses Feb 25 '14 at 17:25
  • If we can cut this by about 1/3, it'll fit on one page, which would be nice. – Isaac Moses Feb 26 '14 at 2:39
  • ... Or, if we expand it by about 1/3, it'll fill up two pages nicely. – Isaac Moses Feb 26 '14 at 3:06
  • You used singular "a bunch of [plural noun]". I don't know.... – msh210 Feb 26 '14 at 4:35
  • Edit notes: I tightened it up a little but don't know if we're at the target length yet (please check). I added an invitation for feedback and a plug for the haggadah but that paragraph feels weak; please (anybody) improve. I went back and forth on msh210's last comment and opted for singular nouns because while "a bunch" is singular, it's the individual people who [verb] in this case (unlike, say, a group that performs a single action jointly). This is art not science; feel free to poke me in the chat room if you want to discuss, and if you want to change it back, go for it. – Monica Cellio Feb 27 '14 at 2:37
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    @MonicaCellio, you cut out about half of what was needed to bring it down to a page. I got it the rest of the way. I took out your last paragraph; the invitations to give feedback and to download the Hagada can both go elsewhere, either both on the back cover, or perhaps the feedback part can go with the credits. – Isaac Moses Feb 27 '14 at 4:52

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