The one thing that I do keep hearing about are these amazing, fantastic purim bashes happening all over the city. OPEN BAR! DELICIOUS FOOD they boast.
Purim is one of those holidays when it is so easy to get lost in the details and forget what the day is actually about.
We forget that purim is the holiest day of the year.
We forget that it was on Purim that the Jews reaffirmed their acceptance of the Torah- this time without the threat of a mountain hovering over their heads were they to refuse.
We forget that the prayers with tears on this day have more power than on Yom Kippur.
I see all these parties and I understand that they have a place and the importance of making Judaism fun and enjoyable. I get that we must strengthen Jewish identity. Yet, it still leaves me shaking my head.
Purim is the holiday of my people (being Persian) I feel more connected to this day. Its one of those holidays when we feel like its more of a man's day. We, as women, have no mitzvah to get drunk and somehow that seems to become the highest regarded activity of the day.
I forget who i heard it from. But I once heard that the reasons for the masks and costumes is to remind us that nothing is as it seems. The name of Gd is not mentioned once in the Megillah. The miracle of Purim is a hidden one. We have to look for the Hand of Gd in everything that we do. In every encounter. What looks like a terrible Haman is just a mask. Look behind the mask and its just a cute little kid. He's not scary at all :)
Its too easy to blame this politician, this friend, that parent, the biker you almost killed that made you miss your light...the promotion you didn't get, the shidduch you did not yet find (i couldn't resist), the slow Internet...etc etc etc
Purim is the day when we get to ask G-d to pull off the Mask. Ask Him to show us His face. Lets be open. Straight up. No more hide 'n seek. G-d its You and me. Lets have a conversation. Let me tell you whats been going up with me. You show me Your hand. Lets be close. Lets have a connection. Not because I'm petrified of being crushed to death by Har Sinai but because I love You and I choose You! I choose Your will to be my will. I'm not gonna lie G-d its difficult. I'm telling you right now I am going to mess up, multiple times. But thats because I am human,,thats the way You made me. I need You to support me when I fall. I need to know that You will be there clapping and cheering as I try again for the umpteenth time. I want to be connected no matter how much my past behavior says otherwise.
The key element of all the mitzvot is Bein Adam L'chavairo. So lets take of our masks when it comes to our friends too. Lets have real conversations. Discuss whats been bothering you. Let it come out. Be honest. Be open. Connect. Don't hide behind anything facades. Be brave like Ester. Be who you are...be proud and be you and connect.
This purim lets be Real! with G-d, with our peeps, and with ourselves.