In the summer of 1666, the English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton is said to have pondered the falling of an apple while in the gardens of Woolsthorpe Manor, his family home in Lincolnshire. This apocryphal story describes the seminal moment which prompted him to realise that there must be a force acting on the apple which draws it to the centre of the earth.
Traditionally, Purim is a time for inviting people to believe the unbelievable. As is so often the case, this week provides a rich crop of stories which have that "good grief, can that really be true?" factor.
Safra, also called sefra, is an aromatic semolina dessert from the Jewish community of Tripoli, Libya, and a fun Purim treat. Rome’s cuisine benefited when the Libyan Jews found refuge in Italy in 1967. The honey and orange glazing give a rich flavour and adds a lovely sheen to the almond and sesame seed topping.
Women's Megillah readings have become increasingly popular over the past decade, reflecting the growing interest of women in their religious development. I know of at least half a dozen that will take place next week in United Synagogue communities at Purim including Radlett, Borehamwood and Muswell Hill.