Thursday, March 01, 2007

Purim 2007

“Whoever reads the Megila retrospectively – out of order; back to front – has not fulfilled the mitzvah.”
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz– Talmud, Megila, beg. Ch. II.

“Whoever reads the Megila retrospectively – as if it was just a story of the past; irrelevant to the present – has not fulfilled the mitzvah.”
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz– The Baal Shem Tov

“…The king made a feast for all those…(Esther, 1:5)”

We lie here in exile, fat and growing fatter, content to go through the routines of life, satisfied with the status quo of existence. And why not, when we are invited to feast off all the world’s pleasures?

And what a feast it is: impure-silver contentment interwoven with purple-silk temptation; gold goblets brimming with self-righteousness washing down pompousness stuffed full with vanity; onyx encrusted limitations draped over platinum plated coarseness.

Life is beautiful – well, at least our monies can buy beautiful things – and we are free – free to enslave ourselves.

We are drunk on our own insecurities, but who cares so long as we are in denial. We are broken-up inside, but who cares so long as we smile on the outside. We have been exiled for a while now, but with such exile who needs redemption.

It seems the physical feast has become our spiritual famine. Why do we not realize that when we feast off the world we are also allowing the world to feast off us?

“…But Mordechai did not bow…(3:2)”

And yet, even as the rest of the world bows to the idol, there is a part of us that remains upright and true, never exchanging a few moments of bliss for an eternity of pain.

It is not easy, standing up for your values in a room where everything is valueless. It is most difficult, keeping your identity when surrounded by people who’d rather bend to peer-pressure. It is the greatest of challenges, holding your head up high when the majority bows theirs so low.

It makes people envious, sure, when they see someone who stands for what s/he believes – and that envy, instead of using it as inspiration to change themselves, causes them to get angry and enraged at the situation.

“…To destroy, kill and decimate…(3:13)”

Good and Evil (or whatever term you wish to use to word the positives and negatives in life) cannot coexist – where Good flourishes Evil falters, where Evil flourishes Good falters. Subsequently, when they meet at the inevitable crossroad called Life, a battle ensues, with Good trying to best Evil and Evil trying to best (worst?) Good.

When Evil sees Good faltering, when he sees it feasting off things physical instead of sustaining from things spiritual, Evil tries to come in for the kill. Evil tries to hang Good from a gallows made of a million broken promises.

“…On that night, the king could not sleep…(6:1)”

But Good doesn’t play by the same rules as Evil; Evil’s power is limited to this world alone, but Good’s power reaches far beyond to a place that transcends evil. Evil cannot take a warm smile and make it a cold smirk, but Good can take a cold smirk and make it a warm smile.

And so it is at night, in the darkest hour, when the miracle begins, when a dire situation turns for the better.

“…And everything was turned upside-down, inside-out…(9:1)”

What seemed to be terrible yesterday is wonderful today. He who wanted us to bow to him now bows to us. The Evil that wanted to smite us is now being smitten. And the world is a better place.

But how can there be such a drastic change, from yesterday to today, so drastic that those who were our enemies are now our friends, so drastic that those who wished for us to swing form the gallows now swing themselves?

It is because everything is turned upside-down, inside-out. Yesterday we saw things at face-value; today we see things at soul-value. Yesterday we looked at things for their physical price; today we see things for their spiritual worth. Yesterday we were feasting in the palaces of kings; today we feast in the palace of the King of kings – and no feast was ever more satisfying.

“…For the Jews there was light and joy, gladness and honor…(8:16)”

Last years Purim piece: Faced By...

Sneak peek: In honor of Purim, this weeks Weekly Poetry will address "Masks." If you've recently been born or have just learned to read, you can subscribe to the Weekly Poetry by emailing me, sub. "Subscribe."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

totaly rad

3/08/2007 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mind to attach some intro to you're emails..

i know you might think it degrates your poems.. but seriously, initially give us some background and then hopefully we'll catch on...

we need some cliff's notes ;)


you're so f'n talented!

3/09/2007 11:23 AM  

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