This March begins with Purim and ends with the Passover Seder. The two holidays, known for food and fun, are both holidays that recall times of oppression and celebrate our survival.This March begins with Purim and ends with the Passover Seder. The two holidays, known for food and fun, are both holidays that recall times of oppression and celebrate our survival.
We wear costumes on Purim because Esther in the story of Purim and Jews generally at other times in history kept their Jewish identity a secret in order to avoid persecution. Our celebration of Purim is a celebration of our ability to openly show our Jewish identity and practice our faith, something that connects Purim with the festival of Passover.
When Moses went before Pharaoh, he voiced Adonai’s request to “Let my people go that they may worship me.” These holidays remind us that we should never take for granted our safety or our freedom to worship as Jews.
Today, on Purim we celebrate the time when “Layehudim haytah orah v’simcha v’sasson vikar,” “the Jews had light and happiness, joy and honor.” On Passover, we celebrate freedom from oppression and the hopes for a future in which we may live in peace as Jews without threat.
Both holidays brought hope to our people in darker days. As we eat our Hamantaschen and our favorite Matzah ball soup this year, may we remember the trials and tribulations of our ancestors as we celebrate our ability to celebrate.
Rabbi David Kaufman