Jewish holidays uniquely combine many different layers of meaning. Often, a simple subject contains powerful meanings in each one of its details. These are simple rituals which a child can remember, but they are also universal constants/invariables, which manifest themselves at critical periods of history of important peoples.
Hanukkah and Purim contain powerful tension and resistance towards forces that help us to form as people, if we are worthy of this. We should note that far from all the events in Jewish history have a happy end – Jews often had to pass through destruction and suffering. But two events from our history have been immortalized in holidays, and give us keys to our growth.
Hellenic civilization invaded the life of Jews on Hanukkah. On the one hand, it made them unite more strongly around their values. But on the other hand, more “advanced” Jews borrowed many useful things from the Greeks, and this gave stimulus to the development of Jewish civilization.
At Purim, Jews were dispersed, and risked being lost among other peoples. And here a harsh opponent came into the picture, who made the people face a choice. I think it is important to single out two factors of this story:
1) The appearance of a harsh opponent meant that the people transformed from a feeble and passive people into a people of warriors and victors.
2) The heroine of the story, Esther, played a key role not for opposing Haman, but for establishing cooperation with the king.
These two layers of meaning give us an extremely important key to success. For the people, it was important to go on the “war path”, show courage and triumph over enemies. But for spiritual leadership, it was important to focus on relations with the king.
The Kabala states that for spiritual leadership it was important to be focused on relations with higher forces. The spiritual elite of the people should in case of conflict rise to a high level of profound relations with the Creator of the World. This is the guarantee of the success and maturation of the people.
It is very instructive to see these two lines of development in the current history of Ukraine. The main villain of the Purim story, Haman, is very similar in the story to the Russian leader Putin, who behaves towards Ukraine in the same way as Haman behaved towards the Jews.
And we can see the two lines by which the story develops.
The national level of maturity of the Ukrainians is in many ways formed thanks to resistance to Putin and his system. The Jews who fought Haman’s allies grew in strength and self-respect. The Ukrainians who fight against pro-Russian forces become active and determined.
But another layer is also important.
The spiritual elite of Ukraine is now starting to form a more mature and wise line of development. It is in this direction that Ukraine must succeed
. The people of Ukraine are formed through the creating of “anti-Haman forces”, and the elite of Ukraine is starting to work in the “program of Queen Esther”.
It is very important to understand at a spiritual level that you cannot allow yourself to be “infected” with the psychological intrigues of the Haman-Putin forces. These intrigues are trying to divert Ukraine from its formative path.
Just as Esther went straight to the king, without being “tainted” by Haman, Ukraine must go on its own path and not leave it. Ukraine must take its pure and noble path to the light.
On behalf of our project “The Light of Abraham”, I would like to congratulate Jews on the holiday of Purim, and wish for Ukraine to achieve greater maturity, to learn wisdom from the Jews and to be successful in its path in world history.
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