Purim Made Simple

By Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS

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Can we talk seriously about this Purim holiday?

For a day we starve, and then the next day we overload our friends with every kind of junk there is. The men get drunk and end up throwing up. And when they are completely emptied out, we eat a giant meal to top off the holiday. Two minutes after the holiday ends, we are trying to get rid of all the junk because Passover is around the corner. So we send all our junk to school with our kids and they come home with a giant stomachache and threaten to throw up all over the place. So what’s this cycle all about?

I guess it mimics the holiday itself, where things looked bad. Then Esther got into the palace and that looked good. But then Haman went after the Jews, and that was bad. But then we got rid of him, and that was good. And then, through all the tumult, G-d saved us!

So, as you go through the dramatic food extremes on Taanis Esther and Purim, think of your brethren in Persia. There they were, thinking things were bad, then good, then bad again, then good again, and realize you can truly commiserate with the flight of emotions they were exposed to.

Our holidays are here to commemorate the experience of our people, so long ago, and to help us appreciate that G-d comes through for us in a crunch or in a snap, crackle, pop! G-d chips” away at the bad, and sweetens” the future. He washes salt” off our wounds and sugarcoats” our lives. We meat” the memories head-on, while we remember our past-a.” And G-d demonstrates that He always rice”s to the occasion, and in order that we don’t lamb”-ment our plight, G-d becomes a lifesaver!” Somehow, it’s just always done through food.

What better way than through our stomachs to experience the ups and downs of the Purim experience?! As they say, one appetizer is worth a thousand words.

We are an oral nation. G-d created man through speech. Therefore, when we are not using our words to retell our history, we find ourselves using our lips and tongues anyway. Articulate or masticate either way we are reliving our past.
Furthermore, G-d blew life into us through our mouths and that’s where the relationship started. Thus, when it is time to reconnect, it’s best to go back to the Source. Sure, we could use our articulators to keep retelling the story. But what honest, self-respecting Jew wouldn’t stop for a bite somewhere in between anyway? G-d’s only making it easy for us by incorporating the food aspect into the entire theme of the day.

In other words, as the saying goes, G-d is just giving us food for thought!

Have a joyful, ful“filling” Purim!

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