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.
The Mi Yodeya community