Get a Life!
by Rabbi Aron Moss
My operation was successful. I just survived a pretty close shave with my own mortality, so I should be thankful. But I am finding it hard to appreciate when the life I woke up to is so miserable. I need a job. I am all alone. I am alive but sometimes question if my life is worth anything. Any words of inspiration for a sad survivor?
Your question is right on time. What you need is Purim.
The Purim story is a strange one. Like most festivals, it celebrates how G-d intervened in history to save the Jewish people from a mortal enemy. But it seems like He didn't finish the job.
It happened in the time when the Jews were under Persian rule, after the destruction of the first Temple. A decree to slaughter every Jewish man, woman and child was miraculously averted. That's something. But the situation for the Jews was no better at the end of the story than at the beginning. They were still under foreign rule. The temple had not been rebuilt. And Esther was still stuck with a buffoon of a king for a husband.
You'd think if G-d is doing miracles already, He would do it all the way. Don't just save the Jews from annihilation, get rid of all tyrants, free the oppressed, and end world poverty while you're at it.
Well, we can't second guess G-d. He does things His way. Purim teaches us to appreciate each miracle as it comes. What we can celebrate, we do. We survived, and even if times weren't so good, life itself is the greatest cause for celebration.
When going through life's difficulties, we are often advised to look at the big picture. But sometimes the big picture doesn't look all that good. Sometimes, we have to look at the little picture. Forget about the forest, appreciate the trees. You are alive, celebrate it. G-d has given you a blessing, savour that moment.
On Purim, make sure you drink Lechaim - to life. A tough life? Maybe. But life!