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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Skorka

Purim and Its Enigmas

Purim is a very peculiar holiday. Judaism teaches to avoid excessive behaviors, but on Purim it is a mitzwah to overindulge with alcoholic beverages (Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayim 695, 2, based on Raba's statement in Megillah 7, b)!

Judaism teaches that one must be authentic and not have two faces, and yet it is traditional on Purim to disguise oneself with masks. And most surprisingly, in the ultimate future, it is expected that all festivities will be set aside – except for Purim and Yom Kippur. And all the prophetic texts and hagiographies will be set aside, except for the Torah and the scroll of Esther (Yad HaChazakah, Hilkhot Megillah 2, 18).

Purim and its history is full of ironies. There is the hilarious figure of Haman and his imbecilic arrogance, not to mention the king's self-importance and vain boasting of his power and riches. Purim is the mockery of a reality in which men deify their egos and power and desire to exterminate the people who reject their narcissism. For that reason, it is celebrated with the ironic mockery of everyone who boasts of their own wealth and greatness.

When a saner reality is established in the world, Purim will continue to be celebrated over other festivities in order to remember the triumph over human weaknesses and egotism.

Purim Sameach!


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