Randomness [and Purim] (S1E12b)

The continuation of the Purim suite! Last episode we discussed the Book of Esther. We highlighted its Gilbert and Sullivan-esque presentation, and so now we drill in to the holiday of Purim and its drunken celebration of randomness.

We begin by discussing randomness (with a meandering random way of getting to it), then explain how the random nature of the universe is what gives us choice. Choice, we discover, is the bedrock of freedom, and liberty. We then discuss the differences between the two, the need for limitations, and end up back in two contrasting, different views of randomness – the postmodern version, and the Torah version. Along the way, we highlight these ideas within the Book of Esther and the holiday of Purim.

It all may just come down to being a connoisseur of life. And it is not random, you see, that Purim revolves around wine. A connoisseur learns to distinguish – and to do that, you need to learn to appreciate the limitations that create the categories we may use to make distinctions. As the Talmud puts it, “if there is no Awareness, how can we distinguish?” And on the flip side, if there’s no distinctions, what are you aware of? 

randomness and purim - the roulette wheel

With this, you can make the distinction between the Torah version of reality, and the postmodern randomness. Randomness, to Torah, is multiple possibilities within one universe. Postmodernists wage war against an underlying reality, instead insisting there are as many realities as you can fathom (and then some). Purim comes to celebrate the randomness that provides the freedom in the universe – there are as many possibilities as you would like – but they are all contained within the limits G-d’s Universe, and ultimately, will lead to where He Wants things to go.

This is a fun episode, featuring some bad InfoWars Alex Jones impressions, ruminations on apophenia and libations, and some personal anecdotes.

Happy Purim!

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