There were seven of us sitting around the table. The room was quiet, and Danny walked in. It got even quieter; you could almost cut through the silence with a knife. We were in the middle of an intervention; we were trying to save a life. His Dad and Mom, his sister and brother, his therapist and friends were all there to tell him how much they loved him and cared for him.

On the other side of the room (which is in fact our Chabad Community Center), hundreds of Purim baskets were waiting to be delivered. They were decorated and assembled earlier in the day by young children to be distributed to Holocaust survivors.

I was contemplating the irony. A 32-year old handsome attorney who came from an affluent home, who had all the pleasures of life that many could only dream of, paced up and down. He occasionally glanced at his own image in the reflection of the memorial plaques on the wall commemorating Holocaust survivors. He yelled: “Why are we having this conversation now? Who called for this?” And someone replied: "We can gather now, or at your funeral. It is either here or at your grave." Young Ahron Friedman and Rosa Zajac, whose names were on the memorial plaques never had the luxury of an intervention that could have saved them. We were giving Danny a chance at life, by offering him help to stop his abuse of drugs.

When I got home, I reached for one of my favorite books, Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning." He shows us how in the darkest hour, when all else seems lost, one can find hope. A person can survive; he can reach out and find the hand of G‑d. As usual, I opened at a random page and this is what I read:

In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of the life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen. Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain… but the damage to their inner selves was less. They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom. Only in this way can one explain the apparent paradox that some prisoners of a less hardy makeup often seemed to survive camp life better than did those of a robust nature.

…In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way — an honorable way — in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment.

What more can I say? As Frankl suffered the greatest atrocities that ever befell a people, he found hope and salvation by remembering the people he loved.

Perhaps if we strip ourselves of all the materialism around us, unmask ourselves from the darkness that has amassed around our hearts, retreat to our inner self, look up to the sky and ask G‑d for help when all seems lost, we may find answers. And believe me, G‑d always answers you. More often than not, the answers come in the form of those who love you and care for you. When they reach out to you, just give them your hand back.

Now, this is quite a depressing thought for Purim — but here lies the joy. On Purim there is a custom of getting dressed up. I remember as a kid the adults would say: "This is when their true colors come out; this is what they really want to be." So here is my challenge: This Purim let's uncover our inner selves and dress up like the real us for a day. Let's uncover that inner love that we all have to those that love us back — those that wish to help and protect us. Let's seize the feeling, grasp the sensation. Something tells me that you will feel great in your new costume. Then try it again the day after Purim, and the day after that. Keep coming back.

As I was finishing this article, I received the sad news that my dear friend Shua, age 19, overdosed and passed away. Shua was a great kid, who loved us and was loved back; but for him, there will be no dressing up this year. He was helping to plan a sober Purim party, but he won't be showing up. Shua will be sadly missed by his friends. I am blessed to be one of them.

So, this year I will dress up for Shua. I will love for Shua. I will bring joy to more friends in recovery in the hope that they will reach back and use the love to keep them sober.