Missed my midnight blogging deadline last night because . . . I was at a Purim party! Almost all of the some 60 or 70 invited adults came dressed in highly original costumes, even me.
Lots of dancing, mostly to reggae music. The young man confined to a wheelchair rolled into the circle and danced with his upper body, spinning the wheelchair around and around.
Food and drink was available, but it seemed secondary to the general merriment.
Then we sat down for a rather unorthodox reading of the Megillah, the scroll of Esther, complete with funny skits. Just like in Esther 8:16, "The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor."
The custom of masquerading on the feast of Purim is an allusion to the fact that the miraculous salvation of the Jews of Persia some 2366 years ago is disguised in the garments of natural causes, luck, and coincidence. God's hand is hidden; his name is not mentioned even once in the Scroll of Esther.
The verses that speak to me most are Esther 4:14 and 4:16. Mordechai tries to convince Esther to risk her life to save her people and says, "And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for just such a time as this?" Esther decides "Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish."
Chag Purim sameach -- happy Purim!