Friday, February 22, 2013

Knowing What to Not Know

Tomorrow night starts Purim. I hope you'll join us at 7pm for Megillah reading. Prizes will be given for those in costume. Sunday from 11:30 to 2:30, following Hebrew School, we have a Purim carnival that promises to be great; join us for that as well. An expression related to Purim is ad d'lo yada "until one doesn't know"; it refers to the suggestion that one's celebrations should be so complete and involving that one ceases to be able to tell the difference between the phrase, "blessed is Mordecai" and "cursed is Haman". You may be aware that some fulfill that duty of "not knowing" by drinking on Purim. This is not required and sadly in many cases can ruin the holiday spirit. It continues to be a source of pride to me that at Beth Meier we can have a great time on Purim without any such help. But with such experiences of the holiday in mind, I share with you the pithy remark made by a friend to me this year, "Try not to actually drink so much that you don't know right from wrong." A nice reminder that however we celebrate the holiday, and whatever emphasis we put on the phrase, ad d'lo yada, it, like all things in Judaism, must still point us towards living good and holy lives, even when we're celebrating and happy, which I pray we should be this Purim and often. Shabbat Shalom and Happy Purim, Rabbi Benson

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