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Laughter and Courage
The wisdom of the Jewish calendar lies in its cycles of rejoicing and reflection. It wisely bridges the gap between the frightening narrative of sorrow and near destruction that animates so much of the Jewish past with the impulse to kick loose and enjoy ourselves. Hence, the absolute necessity for Purim.
On Purim, we do not merely remember a narrow escape from catastrophe at the hands of an ancient hater by the name of Haman. The holiday's merrymaking is not only a necessary opportunity to let off steam. It is also a constructive reminder of the fact that despite the seemingly gloomy outlook of the present which echoes the horrors of the past, salvation and even victory are possible.
Unlike in other sacred commemorations where the direct intervention of our Creator is the determining factor, Purim's happy ending relies on the quick wits and courage of the Jews themselves. As scary as the plots of the Hamas, Iran and their supporters around the world truly are, the tale of Purim should give us confidence not only in divine justice but in our own capacity to defeat those whose evil plots threaten our future just as Haman's did long ago.
With that encouraging thought in mind, happy Purim!