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Purim and the comfortable clothing of our own true selves

03/20/2019 09:25:18 AM


Rabbi Laura Abrasley

The story of Purim, which we celebrate this week, includes all the elements of a blockbuster movie. It begins with an over-the-top party quickly followed by a roller coaster satirical narrative filled with intrigue, deception, executions, decrees, war, royalty and multiple banquets.
The well-worn characters – creepy villains, unlikely heroes and heroines, and clueless leaders – read like caricatures of themselves. When you add the challenge of modern celebrations focused on costumes and carnivals, it’s easy to understand that Purim often gets lost in translation and people overlook the multiple secrets and surprises this familiar story hides just beneath the surface.
The story is in many ways a comedy of errors, a tale designed to delight with outlandish behavior, while revealing both the power and problem with hiding our true selves for fear of what others might think or say. All the characters conceal aspects of their identity with revelations coming at a pivotal moment. Sometimes this prevents a catastrophic annihilation, and other times it brings about their own destruction.
Today, we live in a world in which we may conceal many parts of ourselves, hiding behind a mask of what we think others want us to be or want to see. This year at Purim, let’s dig just a little deeper into the hidden truths of the story. Let's remember that when we hide ourselves from others, we also hide from ourselves. Let's believe that we deserve to come out of hiding, wearing not the costumes others demand of us, but the comfortable clothing of our own true selves.

Sun, November 17 2019 19 Cheshvan 5780