This week, we celebrate Purim, a holiday celebrating the fact that we didn't die... again. As a brief summary of the Purim story, there's a king of Persia who needs a wife, he has a competition that is won by a Jewish woman named Esther. Haman, the king's advisor makes a plan to kill the Jews because Mordecai, Esther's uncle, won't bow down to him. Esther ends up saving the day by telling the king that she is Jewish and Haman and his family die on the day that was chosen to kill the Jews.
I have some issues with the fact that we are told that we have to be joyous on Purim. I will be joyous when I want to be joyous, thank you very much. I also think it's important to be okay not being joyous on Purim. The obligations put on us by our religion do not need to regulate our emotions. At the same time, we are forced to remember the bad every time that we celebrate the good which is the downside of being a part of a community of people who have been threatened by many nations. That being said, Purim has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember.
At the end of the day, the main point that I take away from this story is the fact that we survived. We survived when they tried to kill us. This sentence applies to so much of the history of the Jews, and as I push through stressful weeks and wade through my own issues, I have to remind myself that I too will survive. And you will survive. We will survive by holding one another up and cheering one another on. There will be good waiting just past the bad. And if it seems like there is only bad, just know that you will survive.