During Purim, G is Nistar (Hidden)
During Pesah G is Nigleh (Revealed
Purim: unbounded joy abounds in our soul
Pesah: boundaries draw us round our symposium.
Purim is going out and giving out
Pesah is bringing in and giving in
Purim is filled with sweets and laughter
Pesah is filled with sweet learning and love
Purim is loud stomping, dancing sober-less laughter and righteous reveling
Pesah is quiet, seated, fundamental food for thought and playful wisdom
The long winter is almost at an end; hope should smell as sweet as spring flowers in the air. We have been praying for rain, for good crops, for nature to be kind to us. Our prayers started with Sukkot, the end of the harvest festivals.
And yet the world seems to conspire to show us how small we really are. In Nihon (Japan) the earth quaked and the sea crossed its boundaries killing tens of thousands. So powerful was the earthquake that it shook the earth and shortened Friday by 2 microseconds.
The leader of Libya, claiming the love of his people hired foreign mercenaries to shoot them down as they cried out for freedom. In Israel a family was slaughtered in their home. Where is the hope for our future for our offspring for the springtime of the year?
And yet Pesah is coming. Pesah is the very essence of hope. Pesah the spring harvest festival, the promise that there will be a future calls out to us not to evacuate the planet nor devalue it. Pesah houses the holy time of hope where the G of creation points our path. “No living mortal may understand my essence, yet you will understand by seeing what flows from me,” says G (Exodus 33:20).
Even in the face of heartbreak and horror, in the time of dread and dismay, when earth itself seems to sound the alarm, Pesah paves the way to prospect and promise for the future. We sit with family and friends and read and interpret Mashiah consciousness in terms of modernity mixed with a sweet mixture of traditions. We sing and say, eat and drink, laugh and cry. Our sacred past brings into focus our choices for the future through the lens of present-day tragedy and triumph. And through it all, if we are present, we feel the presence of the Wholly One of Being.
But with all that has happened, it is difficult to sit down and share a joyous meal while others go without food, clothing, home and hope. We need to reach out before we reach in.
So Purim comes to our aid. Purim in which G is hidden from our sight, but not our insight, calls out to us to eat, drink and be merry and share with those in need. Purim is the holiday of human response to the misfortunes of fate, where predestination and freewill collide or blend. Obstacles were put in our path and avenues for redemption opened to us. It was our choice to stand and fight evil as it is our choice to reach out to the suffering of our fellow earthlings, whether caused by natural challenges of unnatural evil.
It is the time to let loose, to seek out those in need and to share with those less fortunate. It is a time to recognize and even celebrate the fragility of life. And yes, it is a time for silliness and socializing. It is a time for Purim.
Purim is found in the book of Ester, the only book in TaNaCh that does not mention G.
Purim in which G is נסתר (Nistar) hidden, calls out to us to reveal ourselves after the long winter. It calls us out to reach out and reveal ourselves to our friends and neighbors and to bring manna (as in משלוח מנות , mishlo’ah Manot) as gifts to all who are in need.
We are revealed in our over the top celebration of salvation past and future, salvation that is in our hands. Purim teaches us that it is not in G’s job description to change what is but rather to help us become aware of our capability to change what might be, if only we embrace the will, the free will to stare fate in the face and respond to it in holy ways. G does not change what is, only our ability to face what is and make it better. On Purim, the festival of chance (Purim refers to the drawing of lots,) we eat and drink and dance and wear costumes and revel. And there are revelations in our reveling. If all we do is look to past salvation, how can we salvage the present and elevate our actions for the future.
We are given strange tests on Purim. We are to celebrate until we cannot tell the difference between: “Blessed be Mordechai and Cursed be Haman.” We are commanded to remember to blot out the name of Haman (commanded to remember to forget?). And we are commanded to give, to reach out to others, to bring jubilation to areas of desolation, to places where happiness is as hidden as G is, in the story of Purim. We are to send food and money and aid and to do so with joy. Purim is our Pesah prep.
Purim and Pesah, reaching out and reaching in.
Purim and Pesah , our G hidden and revealed.
Purim and Pesah reveling and revelation.
Purim and Pesah recognizing and responding to fate with faith.