David Fohrman

Looking at Law Through Purim’s Prism

Sometimes great reservoirs of meaning reside in a single word. There is an Aramaic word that appears every once in a great while in the Hebrew Bible. It appears once in Deuteronomy, here and there in the Book of Daniel — and no fewer than 12 times in the Scroll of Esther, or the Purim Megillah. The word is “dat” — Aramaic for “law” or “binding custom.”