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מגילת לינקון | Megillat Lincoln, a Purim Sheni scroll for the 13th of Tevet commemorating the revocation of Ulysses S. Grant’s General Order № 11

The single greatest act of government anti-Semitism in U.S. history was done in December 1862, when Ulysses S. Grant sent out General Order No. 11, expelling all Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Through massive petitionary action to President Lincoln, this breach of the First Amendment was overturned within a month, and serves as a classic example of Lincoln’s support of the Jewish community’s right to exist.

This megillah, styled after other Second Purim megillot, celebrates this victory. It is cantillated with Esther cantillation, along with certain verses to be read according to the melody of Lamentations. (Passages in blue bold text are recited in Lamentations melody. Passages in red bold text are recited using a nusaḥ detour as in the reading of Esther.)

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
Chapter 1

וַיְהִ֖י בִּימֵ֣י לִינְק֑וֹן ה֣וּא לִינְק֗וֹן הַנָּשִׂיא֙ מִמְּעֵ֣ין וְעַד־חֲלִיפֽוֹרְנִיָּ֔ה שְׁל֛וֹשׁ וּשְׁלוֹשִׁ֥ים מְדִינָ֖ה וַחֲבָלִ֥ים שִׁבְעָֽה׃ בַּיָּמִ֖ים הָהֵ֑ם כְּשֶׁ֣בֶת ׀ הַנָּשִׂ֣יא לִינְק֗וֹן בְּמַעֲמָד֙ מֶמְשַׁלְתּ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּוַשִׁעְתּ֥וֹן הַבִּירָֽה׃ בִּשְׁנַ֥ת אַחַ֖ת לְמֶמְשַׁלְתּ֑וֹ וַיִּפְרְשׁ֨וּ עַשְׁתֵּ֤י עֶשְׂרֵה֙ מְדִינ֣וֹת הַנֶּ֔גֶב מִן־צִבּ֤וּר הַבְּרִית֙ לִבְרֹ֣חַ מִן־הַדְּר֔וֹר וּלְקַיֵּ֥ם בָּהֶ֖ם בֵּ֥ית עֲבָדִֽים׃ וַיִּמְרְדוּ֙ הַמְּדִינ֣וֹת הָאֵ֔לֶּה מֶ֥רֶד גָּד֖וֹל וּמַ֣ר מְאֹ֑ד וַיִּקְצֹ֤ף הַנָּשִׂיא֙ מְאֹ֔ד וַחֲמָת֖וֹ בָּ֥עֲרָה בֽוֹ׃ וַיְהִ֛י מִלְחָמָ֥ה גְּדוֹלָ֖ה בָּאָ֑רֶץ וַיִּ֨שָּׂא אָ֤ח אֵל־אָחִיו֙ חֶ֔רֶב וְאִ֥ישׁ אֵל־רֵעֵ֖הוּ כִּידֽוֹן׃
1:1 And it was in the days of Lincoln, the Lincoln who was president from Maine[1]In the Hebrew this is written as M’ein, a root that also means “water spring.” Maine is well known for its abundant fresh water. to California,[2]In the Hebrew this is written as Ḥalifornya, with a ח as opposed to a ק as one might expect. This is meant to reflect the etymology of the term, which is thought to have been coined by the medieval Spanish author Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo from the term “caliph,” which is spelled in Arabic with the equivalent to ח. thirty-three states and seven territories. 2 In those days, when President Lincoln sat in his presidential office that was in Washington the capital. 3 In the first year of his government, eleven southern states split from the community of the Union, to flee from liberty and establish among themselves a house of bondage. 4 And these states rebelled a great and very bitter rebellion, and the president was very upset, and his anger burned within him. 5 And there was a great war in the land, and brother lifted sword against brother, and man against his fellow a bayonet.

אַחַ֣ר ׀ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה גִּדַּל֩ הַנָּשִׂ֨יא לִינְק֜וֹן אֶת־יוּלִסִּ֧יז בֶּן־יִשַׁיר֛וֹת הַגְרַאנְטִ֖י וַֽיְנַשְּׂאֵ֑הוּ וַיָּ֙שֶׂם֙ אֶת־כִּסְא֔וֹ מֵעַ֕ל כׇּל־שָׂרֵ֥י הַחַ֖יִל אֲשֶׁ֥ר אִתּֽוֹ׃ וַיִּהְי֤וּ גְּבוּלָיו֙ תַּ֣חַת שִׁלְטֹנ֔וֹ טֶנֶּסִ֥י וּמִסִּסִּ֖יפִּי וְקֶנְטָ֑קִי שָׁלֹשׁ֙ הַמְּדִינ֔וֹת אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִלְכַּ֖ד מִן־הַמֹּרִֽים׃ וְהַמּוֹרִ֛ים בִּמְדִינ֥וֹת הָאֵ֖לֶּה סוֹחֲרֵ֣י כַּרְפַּ֑ס הָעֲבָדִים֙ עָבְד֣וּ פָ֔רֶךְ וְהַשָּׂרִ֖ים לָקְח֥וּ הַכָּֽסֶף׃ בְּאַרְצ֨וֹת הַצָּפ֜וֹן אֲשֶׁר־בְּרִ֤ית הַצִּבּוּר֙ לֹ֣א הֵפֵ֔רוּ לֹא־יָכְל֛וּ לִזְרֹ֥עַ וְלִקְצֹ֖ר כַּרְפַּ֑ס כִּ֚י בְּאַרְצ֣וֹת הָאֵ֔ל אֵין־חֹ֥ם ר֖וּחַ לַעֲשׂוֹתֽוֹ׃ וּמִיָּמִ֖ים יְמִימָ֑ה בְּנֵ֣י הַצָּפ֔וֹן קָנ֛וּ מִבְּנֵ֥י הַנֶּ֖גֶב אֶת־כׇּל־כַּרְפַּסָּֽם׃ לָ֠כֵן בִּימֵ֨י הַמֶּ֤רֶד וְהַמְּרִידָה֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה בְּאַרְצ֥וֹת הַבְּרִ֖ית לֹא־נִמְצָ֣א כַּרְפַּ֑ס כִּי־כַּרְפַּ֥ס מִן־הַנֶּ֖גֶב מׇחֳרָֽם׃ אַ֚ךְ אֲנָשִׁ֣ים רֵיקִ֔ים אַנְשֵׁ֥י בְלִיַּ֖עַל הָ֣יוּ בָּאָ֑רֶץ וְהֵ֨ם יִסְחֲר֤וּ כַּרְפַּס֙ וְכׇל־דִּבְרֵ֣י חֵ֔רֶם בֵּ֥ין הַצָּפ֖וֹן וּבֵ֥ין הַנֶּֽגֶב׃ וְהָאֲנָשִׁ֧ים הָאֵ֛לֶּה עֵ֥רֶב רַ֖ב מִכׇּל־עַ֣ם וָעַ֑ם וְעֵינֵ֤י יוּלִסִּיז֙ עֲצוּמ֔וֹת וַיַּ֥רְא אֶת־הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים בִּלְבַֽד׃
1:6 After these things, President Lincoln promoted Ulysses (the son of Jesse Root) Grant and lifted him up and placed his seat above all the military commanders with him. 7 And the borders under his command were Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky, three of the states that had been captured from the rebels. 8 And the rebels in these states were merchants of cotton — the slaves did hard labor and the masters took the money. 9 In the northern lands, which had not broken the communal covenant of union, they could not plant or harvest cotton, for these lands did not have the hot climate to do so. 10 And for many a day the northerners would buy all their cotton from the southerners. 11 Thus in these days of rebellion and rebelliousness in the United States, one could not find cotton, for cotton from the south was banned. 12 But craven people, lowlifes, were in the land, and they would trade in cotton and all the banned goods between the north and the south. 13 And these people were a mixed multitude from every people, but the eyes of Ulysses were shut, and he saw only the Jews.
Chapter 2

וַיְהִ֣י בַּחֹ֣דֶשׁ תִּשְׁעָה֮ ה֣וּא חֹ֣דֶשׁ כִּסְלֵו֒ בָּעֶשְׂרִ֤ים וַחֲמִשָּׁה֙ לַחֹ֔דֶשׁ בִּשְׁנַ֤ת שְׁתַּ֨יִם֙ לַנָּשִׂ֣יא לִינְק֔וֹן וַיִּכְתֹּ֥ב יוּלִסִּ֖יז דָּ֑ת וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח סְפָרִ֜ים לְכׇל־הַמְּדִינ֣וֹת תַּחְתָּ֗יו לִדְח֡וֹת לְגָרֵ֣שׁ וּלְהַגְל֣וֹת אֶ֠ת־כׇּל־הַיְּהוּדִ֠ים מִנַּ֨עַר וְעַ֤ד זָקֵן֙ טַ֣ף וְנָשִׁ֔ים וּשְׁלָלָ֖ם לָבֽוֹז׃ פַּתְשֶׁ֣גֶן הַכְּתָ֗ב לְהִנָּ֤תֵֽן דָּת֙ בְּכׇל־מְדִינָ֣ה וּמְדִינָ֔ה גָּל֖וּי לְכׇל־הָאֲרָצ֑וֹת לִהְי֧וֹת עֲתִדִ֛ים לִבְרֹ֖חַ בְּי֥וֹם אֶחָֽד׃ הָֽרָצִ֞ים יָצְא֤וּ דְחוּפִים֙ בִּדְבַ֣ר סָר־הַחַ֔יִל וְהַדָּ֥ת נִתְּנָ֛ה בְּטֶנֶּסִ֥י וּבְמִסִּסִּ֖יפִּי וּבְקֶנְטָ֑קִי וְיוּלִסִּ֤יז יָשַׁב֙ לְהִלָּחֵ֣ם בְּגַאֲוָ֔ה וִיהוּדֵ֥י הָאָ֖רֶץ נָבֽוֹכוּ׃
2:1 And it was in the ninth month, that is the month of Kislev, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, in the second year of the presidency of Lincoln, Ulysses wrote a rule and sent out papers to all the lands under him to expel, banish, and exile all the Jews, from youth to old, women and children, and pillage their possessions. 2 The written copy of the rule to be given in every state were revealed to all the lands, to prepare to flee in a single day. 3 The messengers went urgently at the word of the head of the army, and the rule was given in Tennessee and in Mississippi and in Kentucky, and Ulysses sat to make war in pride, and the Jews of the land were confounded.

אִ֣ישׁ יְהוּדִ֔י הָיָ֖ה בְּפָד֣וּכָּה בְּקֶנְטָ֑קִי וּשְׁמ֖וֹ קֵיסָ֣ר קַסְקֶֽל׃ אֲשֶׁ֤ר הׇגְלָה֙ מִ֣פְּרַיְּיסֶ֔ן אִם־הַגּוֹלָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הׇגְלְתָ֔ה אַחֲרֵ֛י מַהְפֵּכ֥וֹת אַשְׁכְּנַ֖ז נִכְבָּֽשׁוּ׃ וַיִּשְׁמַע֙ קֵיסָ֣ר קַסְקֶ֔ל אֵ֖ת כׇּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר קָרָ֑הוּ וַיֵּצֵא֙ בְּת֣וֹךְ הָעִ֔יר וַיִּזְעַ֛ק זְעָקָ֥ה גְדֹלָ֖ה וּמָרָֽה׃ וַיִּקְבֹּץ֙ קֵיסָ֣ר קַסְקֶ֔ל אֶת־כׇּל־יְהוּדֵ֥י פָּד֖וּכָּה בְּקֶנְטָ֑קִי וַיִּסַּ֣ע וַ֠יֵּ֠לֶךְ קֵיסָ֨ר קַסְקֶ֜ל וַעֲדַת֗וֹ לַד֤וּן דִּינָם֙ וְלָרִ֣יב רִיבָ֔ם לִפְנֵ֥י הַנָּשִׂ֖יא לְהִשָּׁמַֽע׃ וְאִ֨ישׁ הָיָ֤ה בְּוַשִׁעְתּוֹן֙ נְדִ֣יב הַעַ֔ם מְכֻבָּ֥ד מְא֖וֹד וִיְהוּדִ֑י וּשְׁמ֛וֹ אָד֥וֹלְפוּס שִׁמְע֖וֹן שְׁלֹמֹֽנִי׃ וַיִּמְצָאֵ֥הוּ שְׁלֹמֹ֖נִי אֶת־קֵיסָ֣ר קַסְקֶ֑ל וַיֵּלְכ֣וּ יַחְדָּ֔ו לִרְא֖וֹת אֶת־פְּנֵ֥י הַנָּשִֽׂיא׃
2:4 A Jewish man there was in Paducah in Kentucky, and his name was Cesar Kaskel. 5 He had been exiled from Prussia with the exiles that had been exiled after the German revolutions[3]The crushing of the März revolution of 1848 was one of the major impetuses for the mass migration of German Jews to the United States in the mid-19th century. had been quashed. 6 And Cesar Kaskel heard all that happened, and he went out to the midst of the city and cried a great and bitter cry. 7 And Cesar Kaskel gathered all the Jews of Paducah in Kentucky, and Cesar Kaskel set out and went with his community to plead their plea and argue their argument to be heard before the president. 8 And a man there was in Washington, a noble of the people, greatly honored — and a Jew — and his name was Adolphus Simeon Solomons.[4]A well-known Jewish communal leader and Lincoln supporter, and one of the founding members of the Jewish Theological Seminary. 9 And Solomons met Cesar Kaskel and they went together to see the face of the president.
Chapter 3

וְהַנָּשִׂ֣יא לִינְק֡וֹן אִ֠ישׁ חֲכַ֨ם צַדִּ֤יק תַּמִּים֙ בְּדוֹרוֹתָ֔יו אוֹהֵ֥ב אֶת־הַבְּרִיּ֖וֹת וְאוֹהֵ֣ב אֶת־הַדְּר֑וֹר וְה֗וּא אַ֨ב הֲמ֤וֹן גּוֹיִם֙ הָיָ֔ה וַיִּקְרְא֥וּ אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ אַבְרָהָֽם׃ וַיִּקְרָא֩ הַנָּשִׂ֨יא אַבְרָהָ֤ם לִינְקוֹן֙ אֶת־פַּתְשֶׁ֣גֶן הַכְּתָ֔ב וַיֵּרַ֖ע בְּלִבּ֑וֹ כִּ֥י לֹ֨א יֵעָ֤שֶׂה כֵן֙ בְּאַרְצ֣וֹת הַבְּרִ֔ית כִּנְבָלָ֖ה הַזֹּאֽת׃ וַיֹּ֣אמֵר הַנָּשִׂ֔יא אֶל־קֵיסָ֥ר קַסְקֶ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר אָ֥ז יְגֹרְשׁוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מֵאֶ֥רֶץ חֶפְצָ֖ם אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנַֽעַן׃ וַיֹּ֛אמֶר קֵיסָ֥ר קַסְקֶ֖ל אָכֵ֑ן וְעַל־כֵּ֕ן הִנֵּ֤ה בָּ֙אנוּ֙ לְחֵיק֙ אַבְרָהָ֣ם אָבִ֔ינוּ לְבַקֵּ֥שׁ הַצָּלָ֖ה מִמֶּֽנּוּ׃ וַיֹּ֧אמֵר הַנָּשִׂ֛יא אַבְרָהָ֥ם לִינְק֖וֹן לֵאמֹ֑ר וְעַתָּה֙ אֶת־הַהַצָּלָ֣ה הַזֹּא֔ת לָהֶ֖ם תִּהְיֶֽה׃ וַיֹּאמֵ֣ר הַ֗לֵּק אֶחָד֙ מִן־הַ֣שָּׂרִ֔ים לִפְנֵ֥י הַנָּשִׂ֖יא לֵאמֹ֑ר הִ֠נֵּה אֶשְׁלַ֨ח דָּ֜ת לְהִנָּתֵ֣ן ׀ לְהָשִׁ֣יב אֶת־הַסְּפָרִ֗ים מַחֲשֶׁ֜בֶת יוּלִסִּ֧יז הַגְרַאנְטִ֛י לְגָרֵ֖שׁ אֶת־כׇּל־הַיְּהוּדִֽים׃ וַיִּיטַ֧ב הַדָּבָ֛ר בְּעֵינֵ֥י הַנָּשִׂ֖יא וַיִּשְׁלָחֵֽהוּ׃
3:1 And President Lincoln was a wise man, righteous and pure for his generation, a lover of life and a lover of liberty; and he was a father of many nations and they called him Abraham. 2 And President Abraham Lincoln read the written copy and it was bad in his heart, for such was not done in the United States like this atrocity. 3 And the president said to Cesar Kaskel, “And so the children of Israel were driven from the happy land of Canaan?” 4 And Cesar Kaskel said, “Yes, and that is why we have come unto Father Abraham’s bosom, asking protection.” 5 And President Abraham Lincoln said, “And this protection they shall have at once.”[5]This entire conversation, while anecdotal, is said to be exactly what Cesar Kaskel and President Lincoln said to each other. 6 And Halleck,[6]Henry Wager Halleck, at the time the General-in-Chief of the Union armies. one of the generals before the president, said “Look, I will send a rule to be given to undo the papers thought up by Ulysses Grant to expel the Jews.” 7 And it was good in the eyes of the president, and he sent it.
Chapter 4

וַיְהִ֨י בַּחֹ֤דֶשׁ הָעֲשִׂירִי֙ הוּא־חֹ֣דֶשׁ טֵבֵ֔ת בְּיוֹם־שְׁלֹשָׁ֥ה עָשָׂ֖ר בּ֑וֹ וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח הַנָּשִׂ֜יא דָּ֣ת ׀ לְהָשִׁ֣יב דָּ֗ת גְּזֵרָ֤ה טוֹבָה֙ לְהָשִׁיב֙ גְּזֵרָ֣ה רָעָ֔ה מִֽשְׁפַּט־צֶ֖דֶק לְהָשִׁ֥יב מִֽשְׁפַּט־רָֽשָׁע׃ וּבַיּ֨וֹם עֶשְׂרִ֤ים וְשִׁשָּׁה֙ בַּחֹ֔דֶשׁ וַתִּפָּקַ֛חְנָה עֵינֵ֥י יוּלִסִּ֖יז הַגְרַאנְטִ֑י וַיַּהֲפֹ֤ךְ אֶת־הַדָּת֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר שָׁלַ֔ח וַיָּ֖שׇׁב מִדַּרְכּ֥וֹ הָרָעָֽה׃ וַיֹּ֤אמֵר הַנָּשִׂיא֙ אַבְרָהָ֣ם לִינְק֔וֹן לְרַ֧בִּי יִצְחַ֛ק מֵאִ֥יר הֶחָכָ֖ם לֵאמֹ֑ר חָלִ֨לָה לִּ֝י מֵעֲשֹׂ֣ת ׀ כַּדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֗ה לִדְח֤וֹת צַדִּיק֙ עִם־רָשָׁ֔ע וְהָיָ֥ה כַצַּדִּ֖יק כָּרָשָֽׁע׃ וְגַ֣ם יוּלִסִּ֪יז הַ֠גְרַאנְטִ֟י֩ אוֹמֵ֣ר בְּבוּשָׁת֡וֹ חָלִ֣לָה לִי֩ לְקַ֨יֵּם אֶת־הַ֤פְּקוּדָה֙ הַזֹא֔ת כִּ֨י בַעֵ֤ת הַהִיא֙ קָצַ֣פְתִּי מְא֔וֹד וַחֲמָתִ֖י בָּ֥עֲרָה בִ֑י וְהַדָּ֣ת נִתְּנָ֗ה בַּ֥ל שֵׂ֨כֶל וּבַ֤ל־תְּבוּנָה֙ בְּעַ֣ם הַיְּהוּדִ֔י וַיַּעֲנ֥וּ הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים ׀ שָׁלֽוֹם׃ וְקֵיסָ֣ר קַסְקֶ֔ל יָצָ֖א מִלִּפְנֵ֣י הַנָּשִׂ֑יא וְאֶ֣רֶץ הַבְּרִ֔ית צָהֲלָ֖ה וְשָׂמֵֽחָה׃ לַיְּהוּדִ֕ים הָֽיְתָ֥ה אוֹרָ֖ה וְשִׂמְחָ֑ה וְשָׂשֹׂ֖ן וִיקָֽר׃
4:1 And it was in the tenth month, that is the month of Tevet, on the thirteenth day of the month, and the president sent a rule to undo the rule, a good decree to undo the evil decree, a just judgement to undo the wicked judgement. 2 And on the twenty-sixth day of that month the eyes of Ulysses Grant were opened, and he overturned the rule that he had sent, and returned from his evil way. 3 And President Abraham Lincoln said to Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, “To condemn a class is, to say the least, to wrong the good with the bad.”[7]In the Hebrew, this real-life Lincoln quote is represented by a paraphrase of the original Father Abraham, specifically of Genesis 18:25 — “God forbid that You do such a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, and to make the righteous as the wicked.” In this text, it reads “God forbid that I do such a thing, to expel the righteous with the wicked, and to make the righteous as the wicked.” 4 And even Ulysses Grant said in his shame,[8]Grant didn’t say this until the 1880s when he was trying to get the Jewish vote during the election, but it’s added here for literary reasons. Sue me. “I do not pretend to sustain the order. At the time of its publication, I was incensed… The order was issued and sent without any reflection and without thinking of the Jews as a set or race to themselves…” and the Jews responded, “Fine.” 5 And Cesar Kaskel went out from before the president, and the land of the Union rejoiced and was happy. 6 For the Jews there was light and gladness and joy and honor.
Chapter 5

וַיִּכְתְּב֥וּ הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים אֶת־הַדְּבָ֣רִים הָאֵ֑לֶּה וַיִּשְׁלְח֨וּ סְפָרִ֜ים אֶל־כׇּל־מְדִינוֹת֙ הַנָּשִׂ֔יא הַקְּרוֹבִ֖ים וְהָרְחוֹקִֽים׃ לְקַיֵּם֮ עֲלֵיהֶם֒ לִהְי֣וֹת עֹשִׂ֗ים אֵ֠ת י֣וֹם שְׁלֹשָׁ֤ה עָשָׂר֙ לַחֹ֣דֶשׁ טֵבֵ֔ת וְאֵ֛ת יוֹם־עֶשְׂרִ֥ים וְשִׁשָּׁ֖ה בּ֑וֹ בְּכׇל־שָׁ֖נָה וְשָׁנָֽה׃ כַּיָּמִ֗ים אֲשֶׁר־נָ֨חוּ בָהֶ֤ם הַיְּהוּדִים֙ מֵא֣וֹיְבֵיהֶ֔ם וְהַחֹ֗דֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר֩ נֶהְפַּ֨ךְ לָהֶ֤ם מִיָּגוֹן֙ לְשִׂמְחָ֔ה וּמֵאֵ֖בֶל לְי֣וֹם ט֑וֹב לַעֲשׂ֣וֹת אוֹתָ֗ם יְמֵי֙ מִשְׁתֶּ֣ה וְשִׂמְחָ֔ה וּמִשְׁל֤וֹחַ מָנוֹת֙ אִ֣ישׁ לְרֵעֵ֔הוּ וּמַתָּנ֖וֹת לָֽאֶבְיוֹנִֽים׃  וְקִבֵּל֙ הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־הֵחֵ֖לּוּ לַעֲשׂ֑וֹת וְאֵ֧ת אֲשֶׁר־כָּתַ֛ב קֵיסָ֥ר קַסְקֶ֖ל אֲלֵיהֶֽם׃ כִּ֨י יוּלִסִּ֤יז בֶּן־יִשַׁירוֹת֙ הַגְרַאנְטִ֔י חָשַׁ֥ב עַל־הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים לְגַרְשָׁ֑ם וְהִנָּ֣תֵן דָּ֔ת לִדְחֹתָ֖ם וּלְהַגְלֹתָֽם׃ וּבַבֹּא֖וֹ לִפְנֵ֣י הַנָּשִׂ֑יא אָמַ֣ר עִם־הַסֵּ֔פֶר יָשׁ֞וּב מַחֲשַׁבְתּ֧וֹ הָרָעָ֛ה אֲשֶׁר־חָשַׁ֥ב עַל־הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים עַל־רֹאשֽׁוֹ׃ עַל־כֵּ֡ן קָרְאוּ֩ לַיָּמִ֨ים הָאֵ֤לֶּה פֿוּרִים֙ לִינְק֔וֹן עַל־שֵׁם֙ הַנָּשִׂ֔יא עַל־כֵּ֕ן עַל־כׇּל־דִּבְרֵ֖י הָאִגֶּ֣רֶת הַזֹּ֑את וּמָֽה־רָא֣וּ עַל־כָּ֔כָה וּמָ֥ה הִגִּ֖יעַ אֲלֵיהֶֽם׃ קַיְּמ֣וּ וְקִבְלֻ֣ יִהוּדֵ֣י אַרְצ֣וֹת הַבְּרִית֩ ׀ עֲלֵיהֶ֨ם ׀ וְעַל־זַרְעָ֜ם וְעַ֨ל כׇּל־הַנִּלְוִ֤ים עֲלֵיהֶם֙ וְלֹ֣א יַעֲב֔וֹר לִהְי֣וֹת עֹשִׂ֗ים אֵ֣ת שְׁנֵ֤י הַיָּמִים֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה כִּכְתָבָ֖ם וְכִזְמַנָּ֑ם בְּכׇל־שָׁנָ֖ה וְשָׁנָֽה׃ וְהַיָּמִ֣ים הָ֠אֵ֠לֶּה נִזְכָּרִ֨ים וְנַעֲשִׂ֜ים בְּכׇל־דּ֣וֹר וָד֗וֹר מִשְׁפָּחָה֙ וּמִשְׁפָּחָ֔ה מְדִינָ֥ה וּמְדִינָ֖ה וְעִ֣יר וָעִ֑יר וִימֵ֞י הַפּוּרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה לֹ֤א יַֽעַבְרוּ֙ מִתּ֣וֹךְ הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים וְזִכְרָ֖ם לֹא־יָס֥וּף מִזַּרְעָֽם׃ וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח סְפָרִ֜ים אֶל־כׇּל־הַיְּהוּדִ֗ים אֶל־שְׁלֹ֨שׁ וּשְׁלֹשִׁ֤ים מְדִינָה֙ וַחֲבָלִ֣ים שִׁבְעָ֔ה מֶמְשֶׁ֖לֶת לִינְק֑וֹן דִּבְרֵ֥י שָׁל֖וֹם וֶאֱמֶֽת׃ וּמַאֲמַר֙ קֵיסָ֣ר קַסְקֶ֔ל קִיַּ֕ם דִּבְרֵ֥י הַפֻּרִ֖ים הַאֵ֑לֶּה וְנִכְתָּ֖ב בַּסֵּֽפֶר׃
5:1 And the Jews wrote these things and sent out papers to all the states of the president, near and far, 2 to accept upon themselves to make the thirteenth day of the month of Tevet and the twenty-sixth day of it, every year, 3 as the days when the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month when it was overturned for them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning to a good day, to make them days of feasting and joy and giving gifts to one another and gifts to the poor. 4 And the Jews accepted what they had begun to do, and what Cesar Kaskel wrote for them. 5 For Ulysses (the son of Jesse Root) Grant had thought to expel the Jews, and sent out a rule to banish and exile them. 6 And when it came before the president, he said, “With this paper, let his evil thought that he thought against the Jews return on his head!” 7 Thus they called these days Lincoln’s Purim, for the name of the president, thus for all the words of this letter, and what they saw about how, and what had befallen them. 8 The Jews of the United States established and accepted upon them and their descendants and all who would join them — never to be passed — to do these two days as written at their time every single year. 9 And these days are remembered and done in every generation, every family, every state, every city, and these Purim days will not be passed from among the Jews, and their memory will not cease from their seed. 10 And they sent out papers to all the Jews, to the thirty-three states and seven territories of the government of Lincoln, words of peace and truth. 11 And the word of Cesar Kaskel established these Purim days and it was written in a book.[9]These letters and this book do not per se exist, but an important part of the Purim Sheni scroll structure is establishing the holiday’s legitimacy so the editor saw fit to indulge in a bit of pseudo-historical fancy in order to serve this purpose.
Chapter 6

וּמִלְחָמָ֨ה הָיְתָ֜ה בֵּ֣ין הַצָּפ֗וֹן וּבֵ֧ין הַנֶּ֛גֶב כׇּל־יְמֵ֖י לִינְק֑וֹן עַ֥ד נִצַּ֖ח הַצָּפֽוֹן׃ וַיָּבֵ֨א [לינקולן] לִינְק֜וֹן אֶת־עַבְדֵ֤י הַנֶּ֨גֶב֙ מֵעַבְד֣וּת לְחֵר֔וּת וַיִּקְרָ֛א דְּר֥וֹר בָּאָ֖רֶץ לְכׇל־יֹשְׁבֶֽיהָ׃ וְכׇל־מַעֲשֵׂ֤ה תׇקְפּוֹ֙ וּגְב֣וּרָת֔וֹ וּפָרָשַׁ֖ת גְּדֻלַּ֣ת הַנָּשִׂ֑יא הֲלֹא־הֵ֣ם כְּתוּבִ֗ים עַל־סֵ֙פֶר֙ דִּבְרֵ֣י הַיָּמִ֔ים לִנְשִׂיאֵ֖י אַרְצ֥וֹת הַבְּרִֽית׃
6:1 And there was constant war between the north and the south all the days of Lincoln[10]Read in Lamentations nusach to mourn Lincoln’s assassination. until the Northern victory. 2 And Lincon[11]“Lincon” here is not a spelling error. Since President Lincoln’s name has a silent L in it per American pronunciation, the standard Hebrew transcription used in this megillah transliterates it as “Lincon.” In the original Megillah of Esther, the last mention of King Aḥashverosh is spelled differently, and marked with a qere/ketiv split. So in order to reflect both of these at once, this final mention of the president is written as a qere/ketiv split, written as “Lincolen” and pronounced “Lincon.” This cannot be directly represented in the English, where the standard spelling for Lincoln is used, so instead it is here flipped — the key is that the name is spelled differently here. brought the slaves of the south from slavery to freedom, and proclaimed liberty in the land to all its inhabitants. 3 And all the mighty acts and valor, and the section of the greatness of the president, are they not written in the history books of the Presidents of the United States?

וְעַתָּה֮ הַמֵּשִׁ֣יב בָּנִ֣ים לִגְבוּלָם֒ כְּמ֣וֹ הֲשֵׁבֹ֗תָ יִהוּדֵ֨י טֶנֶּסִ֤י וּמִסִּסִּ֙יפִּי֙ וְקֶנְטָ֔קִי מִגָּלוּתָ֖ם לְאַרְצָ֑ם כֵּ֛ן תְּשִׂיבֶ֥נּוּ לְאַרְצֵ֖נוּ וְשָׂמְחֵ֥נוּ בִּגְבוּלֵֽנוּ׃ הַזֹּרְעִ֣ים בְּדִמְעָ֔ה בְּרִנָּ֖ה יִקְצֹֽרוּ׃ הָל֤וֹךְ יֵלֵךְ֙ ׀ וּבָכֹ֔ה נֹ֖שֵׂא מֶ֣שֶׁךְ הַזָּ֑רַע בֹּ֤א יָבוֹא֙ בְרִנָּ֔ה נֹשֵׂ֖א אֲלֻמֹּתָֽיו׃ בָּר֣וּךְ אַתָּ֗ה הָרָ֤ב אֶת־רִיבֵ֙נוּ֙ וְהַדָּ֣ן אֶת־דִּינֵ֔נוּ וְהַנּוֹקֵ֖ם אֶת־נִקְמָתֵ֑נוּ וְהַמְשַׁלֵּ֤ם גְּמוּל֙ לְכׇל־אוֹיְבֵ֣י נַפְשֵׁ֔נוּ וְהַנִּפְרָע־לָ֖נוּ מִצָּרֵֽינוּ׃ בָּר֣וּךְ אַתָּ֔ה הַנִּפְרָ֥ע לְעַמּוֹ־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מִכׇּל־צָרֵיהֶ֑ם הָאֵ֖ל הַמּוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃
6:4 And now, the Returner of children to their borders, just as You returned the Jews of Tennessee and Mississippi and Kentucky from their exile to their land, thus return us to our land and let us rejoice in our borders. 5 The sowers in tears in joy will reap. 6 One who goes, goes a-weeping, bearing their seed-pouch, will come, come a-cheering, lifting their sheaves.[12]Psalms 126:5-6. 7 Blessed are You, who argues our arguments, and pleads our pleas, and avenges our vengeances, and fully repays our enemies, and redeems us from our enemies. 8 Blessed our You, who redeems Israel from all their enemies, Saving God.[13]The benediction after the Megillah reading, with God’s name removed so as to avoid a brakhah levatalah.

 

Notes[ + ]

1.  In the Hebrew this is written as M’ein, a root that also means “water spring.” Maine is well known for its abundant fresh water.
2.  In the Hebrew this is written as Ḥalifornya, with a ח as opposed to a ק as one might expect. This is meant to reflect the etymology of the term, which is thought to have been coined by the medieval Spanish author Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo from the term “caliph,” which is spelled in Arabic with the equivalent to ח.
3.  The crushing of the März revolution of 1848 was one of the major impetuses for the mass migration of German Jews to the United States in the mid-19th century.
4.  A well-known Jewish communal leader and Lincoln supporter, and one of the founding members of the Jewish Theological Seminary.
5.  This entire conversation, while anecdotal, is said to be exactly what Cesar Kaskel and President Lincoln said to each other.
6.  Henry Wager Halleck, at the time the General-in-Chief of the Union armies.
7.  In the Hebrew, this real-life Lincoln quote is represented by a paraphrase of the original Father Abraham, specifically of Genesis 18:25 — “God forbid that You do such a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, and to make the righteous as the wicked.” In this text, it reads “God forbid that I do such a thing, to expel the righteous with the wicked, and to make the righteous as the wicked.”
8.  Grant didn’t say this until the 1880s when he was trying to get the Jewish vote during the election, but it’s added here for literary reasons. Sue me.
9.  These letters and this book do not per se exist, but an important part of the Purim Sheni scroll structure is establishing the holiday’s legitimacy so the editor saw fit to indulge in a bit of pseudo-historical fancy in order to serve this purpose.
10.  Read in Lamentations nusach to mourn Lincoln’s assassination.
11.  “Lincon” here is not a spelling error. Since President Lincoln’s name has a silent L in it per American pronunciation, the standard Hebrew transcription used in this megillah transliterates it as “Lincon.” In the original Megillah of Esther, the last mention of King Aḥashverosh is spelled differently, and marked with a qere/ketiv split. So in order to reflect both of these at once, this final mention of the president is written as a qere/ketiv split, written as “Lincolen” and pronounced “Lincon.” This cannot be directly represented in the English, where the standard spelling for Lincoln is used, so instead it is here flipped — the key is that the name is spelled differently here.
12.  Psalms 126:5-6.
13.  The benediction after the Megillah reading, with God’s name removed so as to avoid a brakhah levatalah.

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