A time of revelry, joy and perhaps some inebriation...
We enter a world full of costumes,
Dancing and eating.
Of mischief and madness and other things fleeting.
Time to eat sweets
To dance and to drink
To sing and to laugh...
And otherwise, not think.
We paint our faces.
And we put on our masks.
We make noise.
We celebrate our being free and saved - Now THAT is our task...
It is Purim...
And it is not just a holiday for kids...
This is not just Jewish Halloween with fewer goblins and many more Yids...
Sure we dress up in costumes, and sure we eat sweets
But we celebrate something more
And that is what is so neat.
At first glance, Purim may seem similar to being like Halloween
Or Mardi Gras with merry making and the chance to be obscene
But to us and for us Purim is so very much more
The holiday itself is great with great a story and a great message in store...
We read the book of Esther which in fact is a scroll
And curiously enough, a book where God has no role!
How can this be? What kind of world are we in?
A holy book with no mention of God? Isn't that a sin?
God is supposed to help us...
Overcome and succeed?
So what are we to supposed to do in this time of our need
Whose hand will be mighty?
Whose arm will be strong...?
To whom are we to address our praiseworthy songs?
What then is the importance of us reading this book?
And to dress up in fun costumes and look like a schnook...
But the absence of God teaches us a very important thing.
It teaches us the power of being a human being.
We have the power to rise up
To challenge - To overcome.
This book teaches us that human beings
Have the power to be ONE.
To stand up and believe and be who we are
And reveal ourselves...
And not look afar...
From who do we learn this...
Who is the star...
I'll tell you...it is the woman for whom the book is named...
Our very own Esth(a)r.
She stood up and said I am here I'm a Jew
Even despite knowing Haman would say
"Ya know, I have a problem with you"
But she was the Queen and her bravery is what we applaud
She took off her mask when she realized this was odd.
She was true to herself and her people as well
For this is one of the many reasons that for her do we kvell.
Had she not stood up or had she not spoken
Certainly the world that we know would have been broken.
The score would be Haman 1 and the Yids would have zero
Had not Esther and Mordechai become the real hero.
And so too must we...
We must learn from Esther's strength and Mordechai's bravery
On this holiday when we realize the power we have...
We must act and believe and be pro-active.
Humans are the true heroes of our Purim tale
And we learn that we too have that power
We must use it...and not be afraid to fail.
The true power of Purim is not the great excitement and revelry of our celebration
Or our shpiel or our costumes...or for some, again inebriation
Rather the message of this wonderful and great holiday
Is that we have the power to stand up and say
I am a hero, And I proud to be here
What I have learned from the book of Esther to me is quite clear.
So I ask you, on this Purim...
Who are you? And What mask do you wear?
And how, when it is all over, can we all be more like Esther?