“What’s the inner, deep, kabbalistic meaning of the mess-up at the Oscars this year?” asked David

We were enjoying a Shabbat meal in Los Angeles. David is a friend who works in that world of big screen entertainment while living in a Torah-orientedHis world of the big screen orbits a Torah-observant universe. universe at the same time. So he’s constantly looking for deeper meanings.

As for me, I was looking to buy time so I could think. “What happened at the Oscars?” I asked.

“You know, the best picture of the year award!” he answered. “They announced the one that everyone expected, and then in the middle of all the acceptance speeches, someone came running onstage to announce that it was all wrong.”

“So which picture won?”

“Oh, a small-budget movie that bombed at the box office.”

I’m searching for kabbalistic meaning. Not coming up with much. I don’t quite traverse two worlds as David does. Couldn’t find Elijah the Prophet anywhere to help me, either.

So David went on.“It seems to be a pattern. Like this is the Year of Big Surprises.’’ “It seems to be a pattern. Like the Superbowl. What a comeback! People were walking out, switching off their sets—and then, boom! Everything turned around. Same with the federal elections. And the World Series! And Brexit, too. Well, that one started before Rosh Hashanah. But it still seems like this is the Year of Big Surprises.”

He was looking at me, as though I had an explanation.

“Sounds a lot like Purim,” I said. Hey, I had to say something. “Back in Persia it looked for sure that one side was gonna be the winner. And then—boom—everything was turned upside-down.”

“Yes!” exclaimed David. “It’s a Purim year!”

Now was my chance to sound like I really had an answer. “In the Purim story,” I continued, “after the big turnaround, everything had an explanation. 20/20 hindsight. But in foresight, totally the opposite.”

“Right!” said David. “That’s just what’s been happening this year, again and again!”

“So maybe,” I continued, “that’s the way Moshiach is going to arrive.”

David got it right away. “You mean nobody will expect it. Everyone will see the world going in the opposite direction. And then—boom—everything will turn around. And we’ll see in hindsight how everything was really going that way all along. Despite disaster after disaster, everything in the world was really moving towards its perfection.”

“As long as it happens real soon,” I answered.

“I’ll make l’chaim to that!”“L’chaim to the biggest turnaround in history that will make sense only in retrospect!” said David. “L’chaim to the biggest turnaround in history that will make sense only in retrospect!”


I looked to the door. Elijah could enter any minute.