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Be proud of who you are!

Thursday, 7 March, 2019 - 10:54 am


In the Megillah of Purim, in a few weeks we read of the feast that the King made for all inhabitants of the land.

The Megillah states “and the drink according to the law was not lacking”. Our Sages say the meaning behind this is that the King accommodated the Jews and their standards of Kashrus so much so that even the drink was kosher!

It begs the question, it seems hypocritical and burdensome. The Jews were not on the highest spiritual of levels at the onset of the story of Purim and why couldn’t they just show up to the party and eat some fruit and drink water? Did they need to bother the unfriendly Persian King to make sure they had Glatt kosher foods and the best Kosher Wine??

The answer to this question is a simple but powerful one. A complete Jew is a proud Jew! If we are hiding our identity or if we are not forthright with our identity as a Jew then our Judaism is something secondary to us.

Being proud of who we are is a sign that we are complete! True, sometimes we don’t always act 100% in accordance with our essence but it doesn’t change the fact that that’s who we are in our essence.

A complete human being is someone who has all of their organs intact. If someone has a blemish they often (even though they shouldn't IMHO) attempt to hide it because they want to present themselves as a complete human. Being a complete Jew is the same.

 The message of the Megillah and the Purim story is that when we are proud of who we are we earn the respect and accommodation of even the unfriendly Persian King and he goes out of his way to accommodate our Jewishness.

This message is as true now as it was then. Living in a highly assimilated world it is easy to want to blend in and not burden society with our Jewish needs. But in fact, if we are in touch with who we are, there can be no alternative to living and acting as proud Jews!

When we do this we earn the respect and accommodation of society around us.

Have a proud Shabbat!

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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