Think of Purim and we think of Esther, Mordecai, the Megillah, booing every mention of Haman in shul, and of course dressing up.
The Purim message is that no matter how dire a situation might be, we need to stand up for ourselves as Jews. In other words, never underestimate the power of being part of a community our sacred tradition with God’s support.
Purim may be one of our happy celebrations but this year it can be said that its dreadful storyline of brutality and murder is currently being played out in front of us as we witness the very real horrors in Ukraine.
Genocide, terrible human tragedies and sickening personal stories that are hard to bear and which remind us vividly of what befell so many of our own families in Europe barely 80 years ago.
However, Purim is also a holiday to enjoy as we commemorate the saving of the Jewish people from Haman. And every young generation remains captivated by hamantaschen and the prospect of eating Haman’s ears or hat, whatever these tasty pastries represent to you!
When we tell the old joke that almost every Jewish holiday is basically “they tried to kill us, we stopped them, let’s eat,” Purim is definitely one of those.
It is a festival to be seen on different levels and this year is no different. But we must also make sure we value its unique mood and character, for the sake of ourselves, for our history, and of course for our children.
חג פורים שמח Chag Purim Sameach
Paul Langsford & Michael Harris Co-Chairs, MRJ