Why should we celebrate Purim 2000 years later?

by Avi Abelow

The Jewish people are celebrating a holiday for surviving annihilation over 2,500 years ago. Why should we continue to celebrate something so long after it happened?

Fantastic video from Aleph-Beta

Why is celebrating Purim relevant in the 21st century – or even at all? Sure, Purim was marked as the “holiday that would never be forgotten,” and celebrates the salvation of the Jewish nation.  But it is also the rare holiday where God doesn’t take center stage in the story.  The Megillah scroll pores over every twist and turn of Esther and Mordechai’s actions.  Yet it only hints at God’s involvement once – with an ambiguous reference at that. Is the Megillah scroll suggesting that a little bit of glory goes to the characters, as well? Is this a clue that Purim celebrates our own contribution, alongside God’s?

Of course, we recognize that Purim celebrates the work of God’s helping hand “in the background.”  We know that the string of “consequences” that ultimately saved the Jewish nation weren’t by chance at all.  God was there, pulling the strings – just as He always is, like today, even if we can’t see His presence.  That certainly seems like a significant reason to celebrate Purim for all eternity.

But isn’t it a valid question to acknowledge that we also put in some of the hard work for our achievements? After all, aren’t we partially responsible for our own promotion, carrying a baby for nine months, or finishing a university degree? How are we meant to embrace the theological message that God is responsible for absolutely everything in our lives?

This Purim video sets out to resolve this paradox and uncover a meaningful reason as to why Purim is perhaps even the most relevant holiday for our modern lives today.

Click here for some more Aleph-Beta information on Purim.

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