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The phishing hack

03/12/2020 10:49:48 AM


Rabbi Dan Dorsch

On Sunday I received no fewer than forty five emails and text messages from congregants (and yes, even one caterer) concerned about a suspicious email. The email came from the address, and the writer, pretending to be yours truly, asked people to send gift cards to help the poor. Thankfully, everyone had the good sense to realize that this is a common email scam known as phishing.
I was truly touched by the number of people who emailed me with concern. However, I must also admit what I found fascinating is that most people, while correctly surmising that my address book had been hacked, failed to notice the email address was not mine. Many looked superficially at the name and assumed that my work email had been hacked, without taking the extra step of verifying it had come from my work address.
Purim is a holiday that reminds us how easy it is to solely look at the surface. It’s why we wear masks. It’s also why Esther can carry on her charade of hiding her identity from the king for most of the story. Clearly, no one in the King’s court—not the least of which, was Haman--either cared or bothered to check her religious identity. In a society where superficial partying seems to be prized above all else, this is hardly surprising.
Yet, Purim reminds us that discovering who we truly are only lies beneath the surface. The Book of Psalms (45:14) famously teaches, כָּל-כְּבוּדָּה בַת-מֶלֶךְ פְּנִימָה; that the “depth of a princess lies deep within.” Esther may have been hiding herself at that moment: but her alter ego Hadassah may have present for all to see all along, if only someone was willing to look a little deeper.
Needless to say, my actual email address is I apologize for the hack. But in the meanwhile: accept no substitutions for the real thing.
Fri, April 3 2020 9 Nisan 5780