I woke up this morning with the thought: How can I make this a better world because I am in it?
This kind of ongoing consciousness would be a pretty good guide to how to live.
This was not an ordinary day. It was Purim. We get to celebrate the day that we were no longer getting killed and not only that, but we even have the right to defend ourselves against those who want to wipe us off the face of the earth. Hurray!
Sounds, a bit odd, but that’s how Jews celebrate. Purim is not a holiday of great miraculous changes in nature like the splitting of the sea. It’s not a holiday for reminding us that God controls nature. It’s a holiday for reminding us that God controls history. We may not always understand what’s going on. But it’s not happenstance.
Back to the idea I woke up with: Many people in my immediate environment were doing just that, thinking about how the world could be a better place because they were in it.
There was the guy who played on an electric keyboard so that everyone could have a good time dancing in the middle of the street.
There was the family that brought out to the street a scrumptious home made liqueur (similar to English Cream) and gave out little cups for anyone who wanted to drink. It was so good!
There was the hilarious skit last night that made everyone laugh.
There were the people who dressed up in an assortment of fantastic costumes that made everyone smile.
Costumes on Purim are so we can forget who we think we are and be who we really are. They’re also so we can forget for a minute what reality looks like so that we can see what lies beneath the surface.
People often speak about how God’s name is not mentioned in Megilat Esther, which we read on Purim. God works in subtle ways behind the scenes. On the other hand the arch-enemy Haman’s name is mentioned 52 times.
It reminds me of names of autocratic rulers whose names we hear in the news persistently. They seem very real and their actions are devastatingly real. But ultimately they cannot win. Ultimately good will win over evil.