Thursday, March 01, 2007

Purim: Eat, drink and be merry!

"Yemei mishteh v'simchah!"
Days of drinking and rejoicing

The festival of Purim begins this Saturday night and it is truly a most joyous and festive event that can teach us so many lessons about how we should be approaching life today in the modern world.

The Hidden God

On Purim it has become customary to dress up in costume. Why? Because even though God is never directly mentioned in Megilla Esther for His miraculous work, He is, nonetheless, ever present and His influence in making the incredible story a reality is impossible to miss. Thus, our costumes represent God's hiddenness from man in these pre-messianic times, and reminds us how, despite His lack of overt involvement in earthly events, He remains with us still in His own silent and subtle manner.

Killing the Vermin

Purim also teaches us how we are to handle those evil scum who wish to kill us. Mordechai saw to it that the Jews would wage war on those who intended to anhialate them and wiped out 75,000 wretched vermin. After that, and only after that, the Jews enjoyed their peace, freedom, feasting and, of course, drinking! In fact, it's the one day of the year in which we are not only permitted to get drunk, but are biblically commanded to get so drunk we pass out!

Of course, the Jews also were then able to begin putting the wheels in motion to build the 2nd Holy Temple and launch their return to Zion from exile. No small undertaking to say the least!

Telling the story

On Purim we remember the events by being obligated to listen to the entire Megillah Esther recited, lest we forget Who made this possible, Who can make such things possible again, and how we need to conduct ourselves in our own lives both as individuals and as a collective nation.

May all of you have a very happy and festive Purim! Drink too much, eat too much, and sleep too much!! Just remember to say your prayers, too.

Chag Semayach,



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