Shpiel vs Kvetch: Purim’s Rousing Message
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Let’s be honest, Jews and complaining go hand in hand. In fact, our people have a uniquely profound way of complaining – and we do it so often that we even created our own word, “kvetch,” to properly convey how integral it is to our nature. And what a great word it is!

Along comes Purim….

Ask people what the happiest holiday of the Jewish calendar is, and they will most likely respond, “Purim.” The holiday has all the necessary elements to raise spirits: a festive meal, lots of dancing, and of course the mitzvah to drink… dressing up doesn’t hurt, either.

Could Purim just be a time to let loose, let off steam, and forget about our troubles? Or might there be a deeper message behind the holiday’s heavy emphasis on joy?

The beauty of Megillat Esther is that it is not only a book of great suspense (definitely a story line fit for the big screen), but it has a most surprising and satisfying, nail-biting twist ending. What at first appears to be the end of the line for the Jewish people quickly becomes the reason we could eventually return to Israel! This great story is, in fact, a testament to Jewish history: we can complain all we want, but in the end, we will always overcome!

You see, our celebration is not simply a joyous occasion; it’s an appreciation of the insurmountable challenges the Jewish people have faced, and overcome. So while we might kvetch, we should never lose that gleaming hope which has carried us through the generations! I’ll drink to that!