Purim is the quintessential Diaspora holiday. Its popularity is not only based in its tradition of carnival-like celebration but also because its story tells of Jews who struggle with the dilemma of life as a minority amid a not-always-friendly host country. This is a narrative that has spoken loudly to embattled Jews throughout the long centuries of oppression.
Ours is also a time when Jews face danger. Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world, and rogue Islamist regimes, such as Iran, threaten the Jewish people and Israel with extinction.
Yet, it is important for us to put such threats in historic context. Living as we do in an era when there is a State of Israel which can defend itself and in which Jews live as equals in a free democracy such as the United States, we need not depend solely, as did the Jews of Shushan, on the appeal of a Jewish beauty queen to protect us.
While there is much to worry about, seen from that perspective, contemporary Jewry has much to be grateful for and to celebrate. In that spirit, we wish all of our readers a happy Purim!