Are we naturally happy or sad? Are we believers or doubters? Sweet or rotten?
At first glance it seems that as soon as we dig deeper into a person’s character we find contradictions: The smile and outgoing personality is covering a deep sadness. The minyan-goer isn’t comfortable with the fundamentals of our faith. What we thought was altruism had an ulterior goal.
It’s said Freud dug deep into a person’s psyche and found his selfish nature. The Torah looks deeper and finds the innermost drive called the soul.
Freud described man’s search for pleasure, Frankl man’s search for meaning, however the Torah teaches it’s about man’s search for truth. If we find truth, it will be followed by everything else.
If our sarcasm, sadness, or selfishness was all we were about, the world would be in a sorry state indeed. Perhaps, though real parts of our nature, they are drives, sort of like tools through which we operate. Our goal should be to ultimately control these emotions and use them in our search for truth.
The wisest of all men said there’s a time to love, a time to hate. A time for war, a time for peace.
Sadness can be used when focusing on the suffering of others, sarcasm and doubt can be used for fake news, and when honed correctly selfishness can be used as a drive for truth. (“I want the truth and nothing but the truth.”)
Just as the details of the Purim story are different once seen with a deeper lens, so too are the many levels of our personalities different once seen through the correct lens. Our yearning for truth and holiness are evident even in times of moral failing. It just takes the Purim mindset to see it.
I may dress up like this or that, but inside it’s me.
This mindset is very much connected to the time of the ultimate redemption; all that we see now will be revealed as gears in a very large machine run by the Creator. May He take the mask off speedily in our days.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and a freilichan Purim!!