Believe it or not, my kids love salads. They also love eating whole-grain cookies and cakes. Why salad, and how do I get them to eat healthy, whole-wheat goodies? I have them make it! Okay, so I wash the vegetables, I cut them open and check to make sure that they don’t have any bugs. I put them in a bowl in front of them. I give them a chopper. They then put the veggies on the chopper, press down, and voila! “They made the salad.”

While they are doing this, a pepper goes into one child’s mouth, a tomato in the other’s. As they chop, they eat the veggies along the way, and at dinnertime they all want to eat the salad that “they” made. Am I happy to give them all the credit? Absolutely! Would I have made the salad without their help? Absolutely! Would I have told them to eat salad at dinner? Yes. Would they eat it so happily? I don’t think so.

Am I happy to give them all the credit? Absolutely! It’s the same with the dessert. I arrange all the ingredients. I tell them the measurements, and sometimes, depending on the age of the child making the cake, I even have to measure the ingredients out. But they put them into the bowl. They mix it. I pop it into the oven, and voila! “They made a cake!” The flour happened to be whole wheat, the sweetener was dried fruits or juice and not white sugar, but do they still eat it (and even like it!)? Of course—because “they” made it!

We were eating dinner, and my eldest was a bit surprised when I told him that when Moshiach comes, all the Jewish holidays (Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, Rosh Hashanah, etc.) will pale in comparison with the miracles of Moshiach, except for Purim. What? How can that be, that our most important holidays, the ones where we eat matzah, stay up all night to study Torah, and shake a lulav and etrog, won’t seem like such a big deal any more compared to Purim?

The holidays that have lengthy prayer services, including the Days of Awe, or that commemorate the Exodus—which is the foundation of the Jewish people and our formation as a nation—aren’t going to seem as important as that really fun day where you get dressed up, give out gifts of food, eat a yummy meal, listen to a cool story and give money to the poor? How can it be that Purim is on the same level as our final redemption and the coming of Moshiach?

Before I could answer, my son took a bite of his salad—you know, the one that he made—and answered his own question for me.

“Ohhhhh, I know! It’s because in Purim and Chanukah, we battled, and when we left Egypt, G‑d did everything.”

Hmmm. I had to think about that for a moment.

First things first, let’s get this straight. G‑d does everything all the time—whether we “fight” or not, He’s the one going into battle and winning the war for us. But my son definitely had a point. In both Purim and Chanukah, we battled against the enemy. We fought with weapons and with our hands, with prayers and supplications. We fought with whatever we had, and we, the few against the many, miraculously won the wars. In other words, G‑d did all the work to prepare the salad, and He let us press down on the chopper. He gave us the ingredients, and let us mix the cake. He let us be “partners” with Him in our redemption, so that when Moshiach comes, we are going to say, “This holiday is ours!” This one is precious to us because we made it happen.

We fought with whatever we hadWhen confronted with physical persecution, we continue to pray, to cling to the truth, and to fight to live! Purim is a beautiful treasure that teaches us that even when we think that what we do won’t make a difference, it really does. It also teaches us that when a person puts their energy into something and gets involved in it, they take ownership of it.

“This is an amazing insight,” I tell my son. “Can you pass me the salad you made? It’s delicious! By the way, I thought that we could get started on cleaning your room for Passover. I know that you’ll do a terrific job making sure that there is no chametz.”

“Aba,” I call to my husband, “don’t you remember how the children prepared our home for Passover last year . . .”