Yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Belgium are yet another reminder of the fact that evil festers in all corners of the world. The three explosions that were set off at the Brussels airport and subway station were designed to instill fear and escalate violence in a world that has become increasingly vulnerable.
With the coming of Purim tonight, the Jewish community presents a profound response to such vulnerability. As Jews around the world read the Book of Esther, long standing traditions help us cope with festering evil in a playful way. We blot out Haman (who is the archetype of evil), we laugh in the face of those who plot against us, and we find role models in Mordechai and Esther, who choose not to remain silent in the face of hatred and violence.
Purim may be a holiday of marry-making and folly, but it is also an eternal retort to the forces of evil in the world. It is a means to reiterate the fundamental belief that despite the fact that plots will be made against us, goodness will always prevail.