Purim is more than parties.
And not just because the raucous holiday has a serious side, very serious indeed.
In ancient Persia the Jews were threatened with genocide. Check out the twists and turns of the plot in the biblical Scroll of Esther, the “Megillah,” read publicly twice every Purim.
The confrontation between the ancient Persian Jewish community and its enemies all came to a head in the Hebrew month of Adar. The strategies of Mordechai and his niece, the heroine Esther, plus the mysterious, hidden workings of Providence, put the wicked Hitler of the time — Haman — to death and the Jews were saved.
Costumes, merrymaking, feasting, drinking on the holiday of Purim — marking the military defeat of those who tried to kill the Jews — cannot mask the tremendous salvation of the time. In fact, the masks worn to celebrate Purim paradoxically reveal the underlying events (and reveal our true personalities).
Adar — the Hebrew month of Adar — is when it all came to a head. For this reason, the rabbinic sages of the ages have seen the month of Adar as a time to resolve disputes. The sages have recommended that whoever is in a state of financial, social, personal or other dysfunction with some institution or family or person, go for it in Adar. That is, go for a resolution. If you’re in the right, now is the time to fight.
To illustrate by way of the obverse, the month of Av is a period of bad luck for the Jewish people. The destruction of both ancient Holy Temples in Jerusalem, and many more massive tragedies, have all occurred in Av.
Bad time to resolve disputes. Save the effort for another time.
Just the opposite in Adar. Now is the time to be aggressive in getting things straightened out. Now is the period of good luck.
Good luck! Get your money back. Get your wrongly repaired car re-repaired for no charge. Collect your debts. Make the repairman of your oven make good on the repair he botched. Cheated out of a donut, a stock offering or an on-sale item? Pursue the matter in Adar.
And allow us, please, to take the occasion to note that this year there are two Hebrew months of Adar. Twice the opportunities, twice the time, to make things go your way.
Which is why it is perfectly suitable, this far in advance, to wish you all a Happy Purim!
Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News