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Childplay?

Friday, 10 March, 2017 - 2:04 pm

Purim Cover Photo.png

One of the most important Jewish holidays takes place this Sunday. It’s so important that even Yom Kippur is second to it (in some ways). This holiday is called Purim (the formal name of Yom Kippur is Yom HaKippurim which can be translated as the Day That is Like Purim, i.e. second to Purim).

And no, Purim is not a kid’s holiday. Purim is for everyone and it’s observance should be celebrated by everyone. The customs to dress up, make loud noises when Haman’s name is mentioned and to inordinately celebrate somehow made it be thought of as a holiday for kids. (Since when did dressing up, making loud noise and celebrating become the exclusive domain of kids??)

But it truly is a significant holiday with powerful and relevant take away messages  - and everyone would do well for themselves to join the celebration.

Contrary to popular belief, Purim is not the Jewish Halloween and those hamantashen really have nothing to do with Haman. (I mean, do you think it makes sense to highlight the villain who we defeated by naming special cookies after him?)

Then why DO we dress up on Purim? And what’s the deal with Hamantashen?

If you think about it you notice that  all Jewish holidays celebrate some sort of miraculous event. Passover there were 10 plagues, splitting seas and some other amazing miracles sprinkled in for good effect. Chanukah there was a miraculous military victory and oil that miraculously kept on burning.

But Purim, there’s nothing. Take a look at the Megillah (The Scroll of Esther that recounts the story of Purim) you won’t find a single miraculous event. In fact, it’s so un-miraculous (you might say it’s miracle-less) that G-d’s name is not even mentioned in the entire story!

That’s exactly why Purim is so amazing!

Purim celebrates G-d’s behind-the-scenes hand in everything. We don’t experience miracles of biblical proportion today - but we sure do experience G-d’s behind-the-scenes miracles. Those miracles that are from such a lofty G-d source that they become embedded in nature instead of shattering the natural order.

And that’s why we dress up and eat hamantashen (and hide the best candy from the kids) - to celebrate the hidden miracle. We disguise ourselves and eat cookies with a special hidden filling, like G-d was hidden in the story of Purim - but behind the scenes caused the Jewish people to be saved.

The truth is that what happened back then on Purim is true about our daily experience in life. G-d is right here, behind the scenes, causing everything to work exactly as it should.

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