Moral Clarity in a Topsy-Turvy World

March 18, 2024 $0.00 - $18.00
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Getting to Mi Yode’a (Who Knows?): Moral Clarity in a Topsy-Turvy World


The Talmud proposes that on Purim we enter a state of mind in which we no longer know the difference between the goodness of Mordechai and the evil of Haman. At a key moment in the Megillah, when the fate of the Jews seems to lie in the balance, Mordechai proclaims to Esther not-so-emphatically, “Who knows? Perhaps it’s for a time like that that you have arrived at royal power.” What might the Purim story, its midrashim, and the practices of Purim teach us about moral certainty and uncertainty in a world with few moral anchors, where knowledge is unstable? Are moral certainties and moral clarity the same thing?



Jon Spira–Savett has served for nearly fifteen years as rabbi of Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua, New Hampshire, and is co-host of Tov! A Podcast About “The Good Place” and Jewish Ideas. Jon has taught social ethics, bioethics, and environmental ethics in Jewish day schools, supplementary programs, teen philanthropy projects, and wider community adult education projects. He serves on the ethics committee of Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua. Jon’s general writings and recordings about Torah and current events are on his blog at He is the immediate past president of the Nashua Area Interfaith Council, co-convener of the Greater Nashua Housing Justice Group, and co-founder of “How To Be President” an initiative to transform how we learn about candidates by asking better questions. Jon was ordained and received his M.A. in Jewish education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and is an active alum of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. He did his undergraduate studies at Harvard College. Jon grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is a proud alum of the Talmud Torah of St. Paul, to which he owes his interest in ethical philosophy, text study, and Hebrew language.

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