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March 8, 2009: Purim Sameach!

May 28, 2009

Not a full or regular posting. Simply a desire to share the mood of Purim as I experience it here in Jerusalem. Today is costume day, when young people, in anticipation of Purim, dress up in costumes for school. I just returned from errands and saw them on the street. Policemen and fairies, and brides and pussycats.

Purim is not until Tuesday (and Wednesday in Jerusalem, a walled city that celebrates Shushan Purim). But costumes are not done tomorrow, since it is a fast day (Tanit Esther) — in recollection of Esther’s request that the Jewish people of Shushan fast before she approached the king to ask that he save her people.

This strikes me as so very Jewish: the juxtaposition of somber mood and celebration. A reflection of our lives and our attitudes.

We have great reason to be somber — with what we are facing — and great need to fast in appeal to the Almighty to protect us. The message of Purim is that even when the hand of G-d is not apparent, it is there. In the face of the threats, redemption is possible.

And we have much reason to celebrate — as the State of Israel lives, founded 60 years ago after 2,000 years of exile. We walk the streets as free and proud Jews, immersed in our traditions.






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