Purim and the Hidden Things

“Poor Purim. It has become the Jewish mardi gras, a day of revelry, drinking, and masquerades. But it is much more than this. Purim is the holiday in hiding. One has to probe beneath the surface to find the spiritual dimension that lies underneath.”  Purim: The Holiday in Hiding

“The characters in the Purim story are archetypes teaching us about ourselves. What do you hide? Are you like Haman who keeps part of himself hidden in response to an old wound, or because it’s too risky to be vulnerable? Are you hiding a part of yourself because you are convinced (incorrectly) that you are not worthy, that your light is not great enough? As Marianne Williamson writes: ‘It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.'” Purim: Beyond the Playfulness, a Time for Examination

11097070475_09fc7ee1ed_oThese reflections on Purim got us thinking: How do the themes of hiding and revealing play out in our world? What dynamic do we see when vulnerable people come to JFS for help? Here’s what we heard from our staff:

“Hiding for some of our DVORA clients is a mode of survival…a necessary/desired existence; but also, yes, a reminder of their un-safety and desire to someday rise from their current unsafe situation.” -Jen Mohr, Project DVORA Advocate

“I think the hiding I tend to see from clients is that they hide how much help they need – from us and from themselves – because of pride and from fear of losing independence or their homes. Sometimes they will fight tooth and nail not to accept any assistance. But other times – when they reveal their vulnerabilities – they are very grateful for the improvements in their lives and relieved that care managers do not have a hidden agenda to force them into assisted living or a nursing home.” -Lani Scheman, Geriatric Care Manager

“One of the things that interests me on this topic is being in a minority group that can ‘pass.’ This comes up for Jews and for LGBTQ folks, and thus has come up in some of our programming.” -Marjorie Schnyder, Director of Family Life Education

“I think about today’s dangers and how people – terrorists, politicians and people in general – can have anti-Semitic thoughts or negative feelings about those who are different than themselves. They may couch those thoughts in ways that are hidden. Haman’s goal was to sell the Jews into slavery and get money from the sale – and then eventually, to kill them. Esther was hidden and came out after being urged to save her people. What must we do as a people and as a nation to come out against bigotry, and guard our freedoms and the freedoms of others?” -Sarah Barash, Geriatric Care Manager

Frockt.VBy Deb Frockt
Deb Frockt is Director of Marketing & Communications. She enjoys baking, beaching and learning about golf, both kinds of football, fashion and pop music from her husband and sons.

Photo by PhotoAtelier .

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