What Purim Means to Me

Earlier this week, I had a few conversations that made me realize something so sad:  many people think that Purim is a childish holiday!  The reason for this is likely because of costume parties as well as some Israeli Purim songs in the diminutive.

The truth is that Purim is one of the most meaningful holidays in the Jewish calendar!  The Talmud teaches that all holidays will be dim when the Moshiach comes, all besides for Purim.  The Bible name for Yom Kippur is "Yom Hakippurim" which can be translated as "The day like Purim."  In other words, Purim is so powerful, that Yom Kippur is only "like Purim!"  

If you get into the meat and potatoes of the holiday, it's even more anticlimactic.  Unlike Passover, when we left Egypt in style, with their country destroyed and drowned.  On Chanukah, we destroyed the Greek Army and one jug of oil lasted for 8 days.

What is the story of Purim?  We were citizens of Persia, the king and his adviser designated a day to kill all the Jews, and a series of "coincidences" led the king to hang his evil adviser (Haman) and designate the "kill the Jews day" into a "kill the antisemites day".  The story is wonderful and don't get me wrong, killing the bad guys is good, but where is the miracle?  Where is the going back to Israel and leaving a hostile regime?

We all have problems waiting for a Messiah.  We each have our own Egypt which we are trying to break free from.  By not giving up, and with help from Hashem, we will leave "Egypt" and travel to Israel.  In a month from now, we'll be sitting at the seder table celebrating "Exodus" from our problems.

But that doesn't happen overnight.

And the question is "what happens until then"?

While I'm still struggling with my addiction, difficult marriage, problems with my children etc. is there any meaning in that?

Purim is the story of a small victory.  It didn't result in the king being overthrown or the Jews leaving exile and going back to Israel.  It is the story of a bad day being transformed into a good day.  And that's reason for celebration.

While we're still struggling with our issues, and waiting for the big day, we can still find meaning and hope in the "small miracles".  Even without G-d showing Himself, we know that the miracle of the day was Him, and that is what Purim means to me. 

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