Purim is my favorite Jewish holiday. It helps me taste the wonderment and fun that happy children experience. I don wigs and makeup and crazy clothes that don’t match and invite tons of guests to a festive meal. The atmosphere is light, and infused with Jewish joy. Participants share memories of their favorite Purim, reflections on heroes in their lives, or other thoughts prompted by one of our annual questions around the table. Kids are free to try on costumes, make skits, eat sweets, spray silly string, or pop caps on our driveway pavement. The day is a day in the childhood of my dreams. I am grateful to be able to share it with my children and our guests.

Several holidays claim: They tried to kill us; we won; let’s eat! Similarly on Purim we celebrate a victory over the threat of total annihilation and we feast. But what is so especially joyful about Purim?

In the Purim story, Haman the wicked was the physical being who threatened our very existence. He convinced King Achashverosh to kill all the Jews. Our national neck was on the noose. Prestige and politics were not going to save us. We had a Step Three spiritual awakening: We became ready to turn our will and our lives over to the care of G‑d. Mordecai the Righteous gathered all the Jewish children — the pure souls — to learn Torah. At Queen Esther’s directive, the entire Jewish nation fasted and prayed for salvation. G‑d heard, accepted, and reversed the decree. Mordecai was led on the King’s royal horse, and eventually was granted the King’s signet ring. Haman was hung.

When G‑d gave the Torah to the Jewish people on Shavuot, He chose us. On Purim, we chose Him. We in recovery have tasted the joy of unburdening ourselves and embracing G‑d’s guidance and providence in our lives. It is limitless.

In our pre-recovery lives, Haman was in charge. He relentlessly sought our demise, physically and spiritually. The only way out was to admit our powerlessness, to believe in G‑d’s omnipotence, and to make a decision to do it His way instead of our own. We enlisted the help of our inner child — the self who came into this world pure, untainted by alcoholism, abuse, or other dysfunctional behaviors. We came to know that we are redeemable. G‑d showed us that He is truly there for us.

Purim’s gifts to us include hope, healing, life, and joy. Though Haman is humbled, we are only as safe as our recovery programs. Each year, every Purim, the Jewish people re-accept G‑d. Each waking moment of our lives we need do the same. When we chose to tap into the Infinite Healer for our very survival, our joy can also be infinite.