Our first experiment at opening our doors an hour early (6 pm) on Friday evening was a wonderful success. We lit candles, drank tea, ate cookies, and schmoozed – it was hard to break things up for our service to begin. Kai Morsink led us with a heartfelt and joyous Kabbalat Shabbat, what a pleasure it is to be in shul with such joyful singing.
Please join us for Purim and the reading of Megillat Esther. Bring some goodies – I have a very easy way to make hamantaschen if you would like to try your hand. Wear a costume of your choice, come and join the raucous merriment!
We read through the whole Megillah and encounter all manner of characters – but One. The Divine One, by any name, is missing from this story. Are the Persian Jews the first of the secular humanists, one asks? The meaning of Esther’s name gives us a hint – her name means “hiddenness”; perhaps God is in the story – but hidden. God reveals God’s self in all manner of ways, in silence sometimes, and sometimes, hidden from view. We all make choices about the masks we wear on Purim, and the masks we wear in life, balancing revealing and hiding ourselves.
We can look at the sequence of events in this story and say God is absent, ergo, there is no God. Or, we can see we will only recognize God exists if we observe BIG miracles. Or, we can find in the natural order of events in this story, and in our day to day lives (that include sleeplessness, eavesdropping, joyful song and courageous risk-taking) that God’s Presence is with us all, in all, guiding us all. Always. Chag Purim sameach!