Using Masks – Back to square one
By Rabbi Eli Atia and Matan Alma
In the following lesson we will deal with the connection between disguises and Purim. We will also learn why significant biblical figures disguised themselves, on several ocaasions.
The students will watch the following video (start from 0:20. At this stage we would not like the students to know the old man is in disguise). After watching, the teacher should ask them whether or not the old man is wearing a mask.
Ask the students the following thought-provoking questions:
In case student’s answer will be negative, they will face the following question:
 A possible answer: when someone we look up to, or someone who is close to us does something morally wrong?
Working in groups
Divide the class into several groups. Each group will discuss one biblical source; with the help of guiding questions [see the attached].
The teacher will appoint a ‘leader’ for each group, who will be responsible of her group’s performance.
Each group representative will give a short presentation about the biblical source his group discussed, and their answers to the guiding questions. Allow time for questions in the end.
Option 1– Writing assignment
The students will answer the following questions in essay form.
A few students will share their answers with their fellow classmates.
Option 2 – Presentation
Ask a few students to describe and present a situation in which they are forced to use a ‘mask’. Then ask them to explain their reason for wearing the mask (due to: fear / shame / modesty / impersonation/ deceit).
Option 3 – Student Theater
Ask for a few volunteers to perform the scene in which one of the biblical figures used a ‘mask’ (Adam, Moses, Saul, Ahab, and so on…) according to their own personal perspective.
This activity may be done several times by using different students and different biblical characters.
 Encourage the students to add their own dialogue and language and to embellish the scene beyond the Biblical text.
What do the masks have to do with Purim?
The Talmud says: