Tonight marks the beginning of Purim (which we will celebrate at HCRJ on Friday night). Purim is a holiday with many faces. One face is rather serious. It is one of many Jewish holidays which helps us recall and retell our people’s struggle to overcome those forces in history which have sought to destroy us. On this level, we celebrate the lofty ideals of bravery, sacrifice, luck and fortitude.
Another face of Purim is spiritual. While God is never mentioned in the Scroll of Esther, Purim is a holiday with a powerful theological message. It teaches us that God works through us in our daily lives, and that each of us, through the choices we make, can become an instrument of God and make a true difference in the world.
Finally, Purim is rather playful and mischievous. It is a time to joke and be jolly, and it is in the spirit of this face that our sages suggested that we bring joy and gladness into our lives throughout the entire month of Adar.
A teenage boy goes to a psychologist to seek advice on an ongoing fear of monsters living under his bed. He tells the doctor that he cannot sleep at night and he cannot seem to get rid of this fear.
The psychologist shares a strategy which might help the teen overcome these fears, but it will take three visits a week for a year.
“How much do you charge?” asks the kid.
“$150 per visit,” replied the doctor.
“I’ll sleep on it,” said the teen.
Six months later the doctor bumps into the teen on the street and inquiries about the situation. “Why didn’t you come to see me about those fears you were having?” he asked.
“Well,” said the teen, “$150 a visit, three times a week for a year, is $23,400.00. This was a lot of money for me. Then a good friend of mine cured me for $10.00, and I didn’t need your help anymore.”
“Is that so?” exclaimed the doctor (with a bit of an attitude) “and how is it, may I ask, that your friend cured you?”
“He told me to cut the legs off the bed, and there ain’t nobody under there now!”
On Purim, we playfully find ways to address the monsters in the world!