Purim is about what is… and what isn’t.
It is about things hidden and revealed.It is about taking action and taking things into our own hands, but knowing that even though Hashem may not “appear,” that He is always here. It is a reminder that we do not… or at least SHOULD NOT need overt miracles to believe in Hashem.
This seems to be a huge battle. I know that there are moments I can walk through the world and see G-d in every step… and there are moments that I want a sign… need some help… ask for a personal miracle and need some kind of definitive answer or incredibly clear revelation.
The key is to stay connected, even in the moments of doubt. We don’t always want to shout to the Heavens, but when we are shouting, when we are discussing and talking to, or even arguing WITH G-d, that means that we believe. The daily battle, it seems, is to stay connected. I believe it was my friend Shlomo who said that prayer is or can be a battle. There are days when time is a factor, emotions are a factor, when our faith is at a bit of a low… and those are the days, actually, when prayer and connection is lifted. When it is easy, it is easy… but when it is hard, it can be miraculous.
The questioning, the yearning, the searching is what makes Jews, Jews… and is what makes Judaism an active and alive religion. We are constantly learning and growing and searching for new meaning, finding new lessons and teachers and mentors. We are active participants, at least when and if we choose to be. The goal must be, for all of us, to pull back our own veils… our own masks, those on the outside and those on the inside, to reveal who we really are… to reveal our very souls.
Esther’s journey is one we should all emulate. She stayed hidden when she needed to, but when it was time to step up and help save the Jewish people, all was revealed. She spoke her truth, bared her soul and the miracle happened.
The mitzvah of Purim is that we HEAR The Megillah, which shows us and teaches us how important it truly is to listen and hear. We are supposed to give money to the poor and gifts to at least two people, which teaches us about the importance of kindness and giving with our hearts and our time, as well as our money. It is about connecting us to humanity, to our fellow Jews, and connecting us to Hashem, even though He is not mentioned once in The Megillah.
Connection, connection, connection… We do it through prayer when we are alone with G-d. We do it through prayer and community, when we pray in a Shul with others. We do it when we cut through the blocks in our own lives, when we not only reveal our own souls but return to our true selves. Purim is about rising above a literal and existential threat to Judaism. Purim according to Wikipedia, is a MINOR Jewish holiday. How wrong they are. It is, in fact, the very essence of Judaism itself… Facing utter destruction and surviving and thriving… but also an amazing representation of the three T’s! Purim defines Tefillah (prayer), Tzedakah (giving) and Teshuvah (revealing our very souls and returning to our true selves… who we really are).
While Hashem may not be “mentioned” in these amazing scrolls… He is there… and simply by listening and being active participants… all will be revealed. Pull off the mask, pull back the veil… and connect. Reveal and be revealed.