Sunday, February 24, 2013

Purim 5773 - Where Did It Leave Us?

Living in exile is no easy feat. We progress every day nearer to the Era of Redemption, but, as night approaches daybreak, the night only appears darker and darker. Unfortunately, unlike roosters, we cannot yet see the pending daybreak behind the darkest moment of darkness.

The holiest day of the year just passed us by. Where have we advanced therefrom? It seems we got nowhere, as if nothing changed from the day before. Still today, after almost two thousand years without the Temple and without the monarch of the House of David to connect us to Hashem, for that is his sole purpose - to facilitate our devotion to Hashem, we seem to have gained not even one step forward from where we stood before Purim.

We know in our minds we did advance, but it pains the heart to feel bereft of evidence, to soothe us as we pine for Redemption. The Jewish people today, even though they suffer nothing like their parents or grandparents suffered through the iniquities of WWII, and come nowhere near knowing the horror their forebears had to suffer, suffer nonetheless simply by seeing that nothing real seems to have changed to at least make it superficially apparent we progress to the final and ultimate Era of Redemption.

Purim, after all, is not just another holiday. In fact, even Yom Kippur only RESEMBLES Purim and cannot get close to its sanctity. The ostensibly holiest day of the year, wherein Jews cannot eat, drink or transgress Sabbath laws, have Purim to celebrate almost in any way they please WITHOUT restrictions - because this day is so holy, so over and above the holiness of Yom Kippur - that restrictions cannot even touch it or relate to it. The day, far and beyond Yom Kippur, reverberates with utter holiness.

But as long as the Jewish people remain in exile, no matter what holiness this day attains, in reality, in experiential terms, it seems, God forbid, as if nothing had been gained.

May we Jews finally and forever reach the point where all these Jewish abstractions of holiness need no longer apply and that we palpably touch and feel the reality of the Era of Redemption and that the exile finally be rendered behind us like a bad dream we are thankful to have been done with.

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