Drash on Parashat Zachor 2014

Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky
Beit Shalom Progressive Synagogue
Adelaide, South Australia

Shabbat Zachor: Purim is nearly here!

It will not have escaped the notice of Australian Jews that two states--my own state of South Australia as well as Tasmania--are holding elections on the eve of Purim. I couldn’t have picked a better date myself! In my relatively brief experience, choosing which party to vote often comes down to deciding which candidates look the best on the campaign posters. Information about policies is hard to come by and nearly impossible to find for all but the most prominent political parties. I have been trying to get myself educated, but it hasn’t been easy.

Thank goodness there is a new party on the scene, one that has been very proactive in disseminating clear and bold publicity in its efforts to win at least one seat in the South Australian Senate. I speak, of course, of the newly-formed Jewish Mother’s Party. The Jewish Mother’s Party, which has managed to secure position “18” on the senate ballot, has been distributing leaflets all across the Adelaide metropolitan area. In their introductory paragraph, they outline a bit of why they have entered the election: “We have been fretting and kvetching about the state of our state for some time, and have finally decided that the time has come for action! We believe that what this great state of South Australia really needs is a mother’s touch--specifically a Jewish mother’s touch. Too much is going wrong, and it’s going to take a couple of truly dedicated control freaks to fix things up. We believe we are the women for the job.” Voters are sure to be impressed by the candidates themselves. The front of the brochure features a colour photo of the two candidates, proudly surrounded by their well-scrubbed, impeccably dressed and only mildly neurotic children.

Those who are energetic enough to read their party platform will be impressed by what they see. Here is just a sample of some of their forward-looking policy proposals:

  • Where we stand on gun control: for some reason, this issue keeps coming up on the platforms of other parties in this election. Go figure! We think our current policies are just fine, and we’ll definite oppose efforts to change our gun control laws. And if the Shooters and Fishers party don’t like this, they can just kiss our tucheses.
  • Where we stand on the environment. We love and deeply care about the environment, especially the cute cuddly creatures like kangaroos, wombats and koalas. And the Great Barrier Reef--we’re huge fans. However, we also really love our SUVs. Do you seriously expect us to get our kids to music lessons, cricket practice and maths tutorials on the same day in three different locations in an electric car the size of a small dining room table? So, here’s what we’re saying: find us an SUV that runs on solar power, and we’ll become much more enthusiastic about being green.
  • Where we stand on healthcare: If elected, we will advocate that all South Australians get to visit their GPs and specialists for free as many times a year as needed. Zai gezunt--you should be healthy! We will also launch a recruitment campaign to bring more Jewish doctors to South Australia to cover the additional demand. Hiring preference will be given to single Jewish doctors under the age of 40.

Impressed? I certainly am. And their concluding paragraph just about moved me to tears: “To conclude: between us, we are raising six highly gifted, extremely promising future voters. We have scrupulously guided them through life, allowing them just enough freedom to learn from their mistakes and disciplining with an iron hand when needed. We believe these parenting skills are exactly what make us best suited to be a part of the Legislative Council for the next eight years. Whenever anyone in the upper house steps out of line, we will be there to put that senator into time out. Whenever someone says anything offensive, we will be standing by to wash that person’s mouth out with soap and water. And should the day come when someone in government does something truly courageous, we will be ready with a plate of homemade cookies to say thank you. Please vote for the Jewish Mother’s party. But if you’re Jewish, better to go for early voting. We’d rather you didn’t vote for us on Shabbat. We thank you for your support! For more information: please visit our website at www.younevercall.com.au”

I sure hope they win at least one seat. There’s certainly is a lot of work to be done. Hag Purim sameach--best wishes for a joyful and very funny Purim!

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