Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hope you had a Happy Purim!

Purim is over, but I still wanted to share my thoughts. Every year I get the chills at the same point in the Megillah, one of my favorite scenes in all of Tanach. You can probably guess what is it, since it is the climax of the Megillah and the scene most mentioned in speeches and Divrei Torah. The scene is the one where Esther finds out about Haman's wicked decree and tells Mordechai that she cannot go to Achashevrosh, and Mordechai replies with those words that get to me every time: "Maybe this is why everything happened!"

Just about all of the time, we don't know why things happen. And as someone who always asks "Why?" and who constantly thinks about meaning and purpose, I love the clarity that Esther has at the end of story, where she realizes that she was placed in a unique situation where she had the opportunity to play a crucial role that is remembered for generations.

Purim leaves me with much to think about. About the relationship between my external self and my internal self, about appearances, who I really am vs. who I show the world. About Hashem's hidden presence in the world and seeing Hashem's interaction in my daily life. What is my purpose here? Where do I go with all the things that Hashem has given me? What makes each aspect of my life meaningful? How can I take advantage of each opportunity comes my way?

Esther finds herself in a situation where she has a unique chance to make a difference. Mordechai doesn't tell her what to do. He doesn't say, "Don't just stand there! You have to do something!" He tells her what her possibilities are. Hashem is going to save the Jews and she can jump in or she can stay put. All I can think about is: Am I jumping in? Am I doing what I can do? Am I striving enough, or am I just passively floating through life, going wherever it takes me without paddling and playing my role?

I hope you all had a meaningful, happy Purim.



  1. Very good post. It touches on what ive heard one of my Rebbeim, R' Wein say many times "all one can do is show your your options and tell you what their life experience would suggest, but the choice is up to you"

    Way to sum up Purim

  2. Beautiful. Every Pasuk really has so, so, so much meaning. (I took a class in seminary that was titled "Megilat Esther' - even with all of the mefarshim and vorts we learned, there're countless more!)
    One of my favorites p'sukim is "KACHA ya'aseh la'ish asher hamelech chafetz bikaro"

    it's like ssssss burn to haman!! :)

  3. Is purim only meaningful if it's happy or only happy if it's meaningful?


  4. elimgray- thanks. That quote is very true.

    Sefardi Gal- that is a great scene as well!

    lawschooldrunk- definitely both :)


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