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Purim: Our Lifeline to Maintaining Sanity!

Thursday, 17 March, 2011 - 11:34 pm

This morning I was visiting with a friend who is a member of our community and we were talking about everything that is going on in the world. He observed that the world seems to be shaking - literally and figuratively. There is the terrible loss of life in Japan - first the earthquake & tsunami and now the potential nuclear situation - which comes on the heels of the New Zealand earthquake and destruction. The world is once again involved in a rescue and relief effort. (For an option to support relief efforts in Japan visit JapanJewishRelief.com.) 

Throw in the unrest all around the Middle East and the way some of the regimes are handling it. Then you mix in the horrific murder of the Fogel family in Itamar. (Calling the terrorists animals is an insult to the animal kingdom. This is a savage and barbaric act; and the reaction in Gaza was no less disturbing.) Each of the events is enough to shake a person up. Add them all together and you are left wondering how we are to retain our sanity.

During the course of our discussion we concluded the only solution is to find something that is steady and consistent and hold on tightly while weathering the storm. I suggested that family and religion were the types of things that can keep us during these tough times. One appreciates what is usually taken for granted. The safety and serenity of the home and family is an oasis of normalcy. Equally if not more important is our connection to our Judaism. The traditions and rituals can keep us anchored in turbulent waters. A Shabbat, Torah study, daily prayer and of course holidays such as Purim.

Our obligation to observe Purim with all of its customs and traditions can transform and uplift us during trying times such as the ones in which we live. The need to be joyous and happy. The need to get busy with Mishloach Manot and Purim parties. All of these help us retain our sanity during the crazy times.

A Chassidic master once gave the following analogy for the times before the final redemption. Imagine that you are hanging in the air clinging to a rope for your very survival. Then someone comes along and shakes the rope violently. How much more desperately will you have to hold on to the rope in order to survive? He explained that the challenges to our faith in the last phase of exile will feel like the rope to which we cling, is being yanked around in an attempt to throw us off. But we will survive. We will be successful in overcoming those challenges by remaining faithful to our G-d and His Torah despite all efforts to tear us away. In doing so we will merit the relief that is the complete redemption through Moshiach.

This Purim we cannot afford not to celebrate for all we are worth. It is vital to our very sanity and survival. Join us for one or all of Chabad's Purim celebrations on Saturday and Sunday night. It is a lifeline that Hashem is throwing to us. Let's make sure to hold on tightly ensuring that we not only survive, but that we come out marching with confidence to the days of Moshiach.

We extend condolences to Sue Halperin upon the recent loss of her son, James S. Suber.

We wish a hearty Mazal tov to Jun (Yonah) Miyamoto upon his recent engagement to Sherry Malka Brachfeld, with additional prayers for the safety of his family in Japan.

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