Maybe it’s only me, but following every Purim, I’m left wondering who the real “me” is. Is the real me the naturally joyous and positive person who greets neighbor and stranger alike with warmth and automatic connection? Or is it the pre- and post-Purim me, worn down by fulfilling life’s continuous demands, who longs for the missing spark we once had, even if only a for a fleeting day.
Which one is the mask, and which one is me?
The practical answer is it depends on us; the more we live with the commitment and spirit the Yidden had at the time of the Purim story, the more quotidian pressures become external and the joy of life itself becomes internal.
The more we connect daily to matters of the spirit, the more we’ll be able to respect, love, and appreciate others. The same feeling of brotherhood we had on the 14th of Adar with our year-round “nudnik neighbor” is suddenly reachable on a Monday morning. Our relationship with the Creator also evolves beyond a relationship of habit or even of force – “Since He exists, I must do what He says.” Rather, it becomes a personal and real connection. Hashem suddenly feels close. Mitzvot become a top priority and even enjoyable. Torah becomes a sweet delight.
If we can choose to have Purim the entire year, shouldn’t we grab the chance?
Wishing you a joyous Shabbos,