I want to share some thoughts about Purim as we approach Purim which is on Saturday night and Sunday.
As we think about the various characters in the Purim story, I am struck by the lack of any mention to G-d in the story. The closest that we get to G-d’s name is that “help will come from some other place” in Chapter 4:14 which may be a veiled reference to G-d.
What role does G-d play in our lives? What is the role of religion in our lives?
We see the emphasis upon action in this story. Esther sleeps with the king after winning a beauty contest….Mordecai pushes Esther to go in to see the king in order to lobby for what becomes the party at which she saves the Jewish people.
When the Messianic era arrives, Maimonides says that we will only celebrate Purim since this is the story that reminds us of the power of our actions and the realization that things we do can and do make a difference in our world.
We will continue this discussion tomorrow night at 6pm in Sub 1 and then on Saturday during our Torah study…In the meantime, I hope you will find meaningful ways to give gifts to our friends in order to fulfill the mitzvah of shelach manot, giving gifts which we did to celebrate our victory over the bad guys and in honor of our observance of Purim.
Rabbi Bruce Aft