A truly joyful Purim

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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

It appears to me that everyone should establish a personal corona cabinet. To meet and plan how this joyful holiday will not turn into a tragedy, heaven forbid. It’s simple when there is a lockdown but when there isn’t – the responsibility falls on us. In this regard, Rabbi Ran Sarid wrote the following:

“Purim this year obligates us to change our mindset. To stop and consider not what we want to do, not what we deeply desire, but rather how the Holy One blessed be He would want us to celebrate the holiday this year. The four mitzvot of Purim are to hear the reading of Megilat Esther, to send mishloach manot (packages of food and drink), to give gifts to the needy, and to hold a Purim feast. All of these can be safely observed in the home and its surroundings, but in order to do so we need to internalize our situation. After a year of corona, despite a multitude of immunizations, on Purim this year it is still a transgression – and not a mitzvah – to congregate, to crowd or dance together.  And the corona does not distinguish between drunk and sober people.

The holiday of Purim symbolizes physical salvation, from the verge of death to life.  It does not seem to me that Mordechai the Jew, who wore sackcloth and ashes solely from the fear that Jews would die, would want that the holiday held on his and Esther’s account would become a mega epidemiological catastrophe. The mitzvah to be joyful on Purim 5781 is internal, not external. If it is truly important for us to be joyful, and if we are to guarantee each other’s safety, we can already begin to think how we can truly be joyful this year, responsibly.”

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