Let My People Know

"Our bodies and souls are only the actors, or the performers, of this play we call life"—Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz


Hatred, alliance, and neutrality are the forces that act in this world on all levels, from the family circle to international relations. 

From this standpoint, Purim is always a contemporary event; and this is what, perhaps, gives a universal meaning to the verse from the Book of Esther that proclaims the holiday: "These days shall be observed at their proper time … by every family, every province, every city."

Every era has its Ahasuerus and Haman, forming the basis for the psychological and ethical interpretation of Purim.

This analysis is complemented by the perspective the mystics prefer, which centers on the cosmic and metaphysical events recounted in the story of Esther. 

Here, the four characters–Esther, Haman, Mordecai, and Ahasuerus—are seen as dual personalities. 

This is true in particular for Ahasuerus. 

Is he merely an earthly king? 

The kabbalists consider that his reign does not reflect temporal power but rather Divine Kingship in a flesh-and-blood sovereign. 

In the mystical interpretation, the Divine characters incarnate metaphysical forces that they are undoubtedly unable to perceive or grasp. 

This is not simply an arbitrary interpretation.

Every individual has more than one facet of existence.

By existing, we activate and serve as the instrument for cosmic forces. 

I would say that our bodies and souls are only the actors, or the performers, of this play we call life.
Life is a Purim spiel, a Purim "play," and we act out things from the World Above via our personal carnival.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From The Seven Lights by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz