Fabulous Festival! And Vashti, A New Scent

The Temple Beth-El Chanukah Festival was a roaring success, as usual. It’s my favorite every year: hot latkes, apple fritters, free lunch for vendors, and fabulous live klezmer music. Not to mention a whole bunch of very talented local craftspeople, like Gary Rith, Tom Roach, Leslie Ehrlich, Tal Cohen, and more. I’m reminded again what a fabulous town I live in, where there are so many talented people.

Avital helped out at the fair. Who could resist that adorable face?

The best part of doing festivals and demos is meeting my customers. I love talking to you, finding out what you like, and especially finding out what you don’t!

I used the opportunity to introduce a new fragrance to the Ithaca Winter Balm line: Vashti. It’s an exotic blend of florals and frankincense, light, not too sweet, with a little zing of geranium and citrus. I hope this new scent captures some of Vashti’s spirit.

Vashti was the one-time queen of Persia (or so the story goes) whose party-loving husband drunkenly commanded her to appear before him and his guests so that all could admire her beauty. Vashti refused. We don’t know why. We don’t know if her refusal was peevish or principled, if she was motivated by dignity or by a selfish desire to stay at her own, women-only party.

Because King Ahasuerus commanded her to appear wearing her crown, some speculate that she was commanded to appear with nothing but the crown–and that was a request too far.

We’ll never know. So I like to think the best of Queen Vashti: her dignity and self-worth would not allow her to be oogled by drunken men who had been feasting and drinking for over a year (some parties they threw!). Vashti refused perhaps also to teach her husband a lesson. Your wife is not a dog or a horse to be shown off as a prized object.

Instead, her refusal ignited fear in the King and the men of his court. What if women throughout the land looked to Vashti’s example, and stopped obeying their husbands? Chaos! Calamity!

Did Vashti know the price she would pay for the refusal? The King banished her, and sent a decree throughout the kingdom that wives must always obey their husbands. We have no idea what her fate was.

Here’s to the Vashtis of the world, women (and men) of principle who use good judgment whatever the consequences!

Look for Ithaca Winter Balm in the new scent, Vashti, at GreenStar and the People’s Market of Lansing soon!

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