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Take In Some Joy!

Today is Purim, the day in which the tradition suggests all rules are suspended. We are commanded to celebrate our victory over Haman’s genocidal designs with wild abandon. We dress in outrageous costumes, drink far too much wine and drown out Haman’s name when reading the megillah.

It seems like a counterintuitive response to a history filled with suffering. Purim urges us to look within and ask, should we always fixate on antisemitism? Should we dwell so much on the many tyrants who sought to destroy us? What is the cost to our own souls of speaking so frequently about antisemitism and hate?

Purim asks and answers its own question. It suggests that mourning, and eternal vigilance, must not be our only responses. Purim commands.

Let loose. Celebrate. Party.

When the world’s travails can dispirit even the most optimistic of people, Purim suggests that we put these aside at least for this one day. Contemporary struggles tug at our compassionate hearts. Our history gnaws at our souls.

Our spirits require celebrations as much as they need historical know how and attunement to the suffering around us.

On this day, allow the worries of history and even the calls of “never again” to retreat if but for this brief moment. Take in the joy of Purim.