The old joke goes that there are two kinds of people, people who like to divide the world into two and everyone else. Jews tend to be in the former category. So, on Purim we can consider what kind of Jew we are on this holiday: a Purim Jew or a Passover Jew.
These two holidays share so much already: traditional foods, a story that matches the holiday, and a centuries old way of observing the day. But when it comes down to is, a Purim Jew looks at the community in which they live and says, “I can change this. I can make it better.” A Pesach Jew says, “the place where we live is untenable, we must leave our homes and set out for a Promised Land.” Both are fair responses to crisis, and both are very Jewish responses. Throughout our history, American Jews have been the Purim Jews: deepening our commitment in this country to make it a better place for us and all who live here. Whereas, much of the European and Middle Eastern Jewish world has left for the modern State of Israel—Passover Jews.
Tonight we’re going to hear the story of Purim (7:00pm on Facebook Live is the show!). As you enjoy the show and hear the story, think about what you would have done. Consider whether you are the wild thinking Zionist who would pick up and leave your home and create a new home in Israel. Or, you might be the stubborn American Jew who sees a land full of challenges and opportunities, a place where Jews can make a positive impact for generations.
Whichever kind of Jew you are, I hope that it leads you to greater engagement with our tradition and greater pride in what the Jewish people stand for and can accomplish.
Chag Purim Sameach!