Behind the masks - Purim

Thursday, 5 March, 2020 - 8:47 am

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How will you dress up this Purim?

One of the most important topics, except the spreading of the coronavirus and the results of the Israeli elections, is our Purim costumes. Some will choose cheerful costumes, other frightening ones, but we will forgive them if they scare us. It is only a costume.

Could it be that we dress up not only on Purim? Do our words and our appearance always express our true self? Or are we wearing masks, and if we remove them, we will reveal an entirely different person?

In the story of Purim, when Haman wanted to convince Achashverosh to kill all Jewish people, he argued that they are “a dispersed and scattered people”. They were not all the same. They had disagreements, more than a few of them.

But when the decree to kill all the Jews was issued, the unity of the Jewish people was revealed. Everyone fasted and prayed together. Suddenly, there were no more disagreements and animosity. They all felt that they were one.

This brotherhood immediately brought out the rescue, the big miracle of Purim. Because when the Jews take down the masks and the disguises that divide them, G-d reveals His love for His people.

This is also the reason that 3 of the 4 Mitzvot of Purim have a strong element of unity and brotherhood. We give charity to (at least 2 poor), enough for each one to buy a meal. We give Mishloach Manot, i.e (at least) two ready for consumption food to (at least) one friend (man to man, woman to woman). We feast together with friends and family, eating a festive meal. (The 4th Mitzvah is listening to the reading of the Meguila, in the evening and on the day of Purim)

All year round, we seem to be very different, different cultures, different interests, different priorities. Purim is the opportunity to take off our masks and reveal our true self. Uncover the brotherhood and unity that always exist in us but are sometimes disguised.

Let’s rejoice un unity, without the masks that hide our true self, fulfilling all the Mitzvot of Purim this Tuesday 10/03. It is not that difficult. And let’s try to continue like this, without the disguises that divide us, even after Purim ends.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Purim!


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