Sunday, March 16, 2014

Opposite Within - a Purim thought

During the ritualized public reading of the "Book of Esther" on Purim, its customary for the reader to chant several select phrases in the doleful dirge of the "Book of Lamentations", a text read on the 9th of Av. These select phrases are passing reminders of sad events, slipped into a story with very happy overtones. Yet, the “Book of Lamentations” does not reciprocate. On the 9th of Av, there are no verses in the "Book of Lamentations" intoned to the cheerful chant of the "Book of Esther".

In the Creator’s creation everything has to incorporate something of its opposite in order to endure. There are many examples of this pattern. For instance, male typically contains a drop of female and female typically contains a drop of male. This is why in the yin/yang symbol, the white half has a black dot and the black side has a white dot. Since male/female is a cosmic pattern, throughout creation one finds this pattern of containing an opposite.

Without containing an opposite, dimensionality cannot develop. It’s in the dialogue with an inner opposite that an entity matures. Otherwise, it struggles for an elusive balance upon a single rickety leg of an extreme - a situation which is ultimately untenable.
Based on this pattern, for true tragedy to endure it must contain a drop of it’s own opposite, a drop of happiness and similarly, for true happiness to endure it must contain a drop of tragedy. Since we really want the celebration of Purim to endure, we allow it a touch of tragedy. Hence, we sprinkle the ritualized Purim reading with a few drops of dirge. However, since we do not want the tragedy of the 9th of Av to endure at all, we weaken its structure by excluding it’s opposite. We leave it as an unrealistic extreme - a stick figure with underdeveloped dimensionality. By reducing tragedy’s sustainability, we open a space to swiftly allow in the sweet lights of the Messiah.
Party on! Happy Purim to all :)

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