Enjoy a couple of drinks, and when you get to the Purim level of tipsiness, let it remind you that God is always there – even when it seems that he isn’t.
By Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel
As is well known, alcohol is a prominent feature of Purim. The Talmud tells us that we are to get drunk on Purim to the point that “one does not know the difference between ‘cursed is Haman’ and ‘blessed is Mordechai.’”
The obvious question is asked: Being unable to differentiate between two simple statements seems to be an extreme level of intoxication. Are we really to get so drunk?
One of the many answers to this question is that “cursed is Haman” refers to all the bad in our lives while “blessed is Mordechai” refers to the good. In other words, we should reach the level of intoxication on Purim that would prevent us from distinguishing between that which is good and that which is bad in our lives.
We have to remember that everything in life is from God, whether we recognize it or not. Indeed, the miracle of Purim is a miracle in which God played behind the scenes. There is no clear evidence anywhere that God was behind the downfall of Haman.
Purim teaches us that we are in God’s hands, and everything that befalls us is from Him, even though we don’t always understand why. And once we recognize that everything is from God, we will understand that everything that happens is for the good.
So have a drink or two on Purim, and when you get to the Purim level of tipsiness, let it remind you that God is always there – even when it seems that he isn’t.