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Purim & Adar

The Most Joyous Month

Don’t Belittle the Challenges of Life’s Ups and Downs
Accept your emotions instead of fighting them or ignoring them. Instead of trying to dismiss the challenge, nurture yourself, treat yourself and get help as you go through the process. Do whatever you can to make it easier, but don’t deny the difficulty or the challenge.
How I Was Unknowingly Named for My Crypto-Jewish Ancestress
What’s in a name? The Torah answers this question long before Shakespeare asks it.
Behind the Mask of ‘Perfection’
Why does everything look so much easier for everyone else?
The Gilded Cage
On the surface the book of Esther reads as a fable of sorts, filled with drama, suspense and a happy ending. However, keeping in mind that it was written under the rulership and scrutiny of the Persian king, care had to be taken to tell the story without offending sensibilities. A secret tradition passed down orally tells the real story.
Dancing With the (Torah) Stars
I find that my new boogeying and dancing career is helping me inch closer to my own inner redemption.
Why We Wear Costumes on Purim
Is this what Purim is all about—pretending to be something or someone you are not?
Miracles in the Costume Store
I loved having young children, but I don't miss having to dress them up for Purim.
Esther: Paradigm of Self-Sacrifice
Let’s take a step back and look at the context of the Purim story.
Angels or Clowns?
A surprising view of holiness
How is Yom Kippur like Purim in any way, shape or form, besides the fact that they’re both Jewish holidays?
Revealing Ourselves
Time has since passed, and so too has my incessant urge to play dress-up on a daily basis. Yet, once in a while, that little girl emerges.
Reuse, Recycle, but Don't Reduce!
A Mishloach Manot Tale
Taking a cue from the Rebbe, who always stressed the importance of reaching out to every Jew everywhere, we decide to share the wealth!
The True Nature of Laughter
Laughter comes from the revelation that in a split second, our situation can change.
Esther: Hidden Beauty
The modern day concept is “if you got it, flaunt it.” Show the world what you have to offer, be out there, be public, the more the better. It just isn’t so exciting to be the heroine behind the scenes . . .
Revealing Your Mission
A Purim Insight
Now, thank G‑d, three children later, my perspective is obviously so different than what it was when I felt that longing, that wanting, those irrational feelings of guilt. But when a woman comes to me for a treatment, I always make myself remember. I look at her in the eyes. I see the person before me, and I try to see the whole picture . . .
Scuba Diving Lessons
Acessing Adar’s Depths
Scuba diving teaches us a crucial level of faith. It’s not the faith that we won’t ever fall. It’s not the belief that it will never be dark or confusing. It’s the trust that G‑d is equipping us with tools that work . . .
She Is Esther, or Is She?
Esther’s evolution seems to be one of a different nature. Her second name does not, on the surface, bring her closer to G‑d or to her people. It puts her into hiding . . .
In the Eyes of the Beholder
Understanding Purim
I slip into my “just do it!” outfit and wear a smile to a wedding, even though my heart is dull. The garb and the smile carry me into their space and I end up dancing with joy for the bride (or her mom, whose circle I've suddenly become part of!). But I have other masks too, unconscious and less virtuous . . .
Taking Off My Mask
When I was with her, my mask was off. And being around the real me was something I realized I don’t get to do very often...
A Single Act
I walked past a bus stop just as a bus pulled over and opened its doors for me. “No, thank you,” I shouted to the driver, “I’m just walking. I don’t want to get on the bus.” “I know,” he replied, “I see you every morning. I just wanted to let you know that you’ve inspired me.”
In Disguise
When concealment is healthy
Before this, I was the kind of person who never lied. I felt that honesty was truth and that I needed to engage in truth, at all costs.I have greater insight now about the issue of concealment . . .
A Dual Reality
Understanding Purim
There was a need to seek the truth. What was the truth about our parents' lives? What was it that they were not telling us? What was the hidden reality that they were concealing from us?
Queen Esther and the Kabbalah of Time
Wasted time counts for far more than the present moment, or even our own lifetime. This was Rabbi Akiva's message. A minute could mean a street. Think of Fifth Avenue and the loss becomes tangible...
Being You
A Purim insight
We all wear masks. And I don’t mean the ones we slip on during Purim. Many of us think that if we could only window-dress certain aspects of ourselves, then doors would be thrown open to us, and success, love and happiness would nip at our heels . . .
The Bottomless Cup
A Purim Lesson
This woman is like a bottomless cup of coffee. I give, and she wants more, and I give more, and she’ll want even more. I sincerely do feel badly for her. But I am equally scared to let a person who is in chronic, desperate need become dependent on me . . .
Behind the Mask
“They all dress the same, they’re so boring.” As I got to know them more and more I began to discover the uniqueness of each individual. The seemingly similarity in their outward appearance forced me to look inside and see each as person for who they really were...
Homemade Purim Costume Ideas
When you consider the cost and lack of originality of store-bought costumes, homemade costumes are a more fun, and oftentimes more cost-effective, option . . .
The Tail of Vashti
When I was sixteen, I went to Israel for two months and gained about twenty pounds. I had been thin, even skinny, my whole life and never gave my weight a second thought...
‘Mishloach Manot’ Themes and Ideas
One of the exciting elements of Purim is the obligatory giving of food gifts to friends and family. We are commanded to give at least two food items to at least one person . . .
Making Purim Allergy-Free
The other day someone asked what my plans are for Purim. I think, like every other parent of food-allergic children, my heart skipped a beat and sunk to my feet . . .
Edible Gifts for Purim
Since I only have eyes for kosher, homemade and natural, Purim is perfect time to send a select few some fabulous, homemade, fun and useful goodies...
Prevailing Whispers
A Lesson from Queen Esther
They called her names. They wanted her to believe that the thing which made her different from them was terrible. They called her ugly. It would be a lie to say that the words didn’t hurt. Those words did have some power over her. But her mother whispered other words into her ears . . .
Release of the Trapped
A Purim Insight
Now, are the children or I doing something wrong? Are any of us actually out to trap the other? Are we being un-understanding? Inconsiderate? Lazy? Mean? Obviously not. We simply do not speak the same language . . .
Sharing the Credit
The Importance of Purim
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...
I am Asleep Yet My Heart is Awake
An Art Journal, Part I
When we are awake, there is order. There is a hierarchy. Not so when we sleep. The powers conceal themselves. They go back to their source where there is no hierarchy...
On the Night the King’s Sleep Wandered
An Art Journal, Part II
This was the Purim miracle. Where there had been the disorder of sleep and exile, where evil was able to domineer the good, there was now order. The Jews could overcome their enemies...
Asking for Help vs. Standing on Your Own
The Fast of Esther Balancing Act
Nobody, not even the queen, was allowed to approach the king without the king first calling for that person’s presence
Purim Recipes
Not only do we get to act like kids again when we dress up for Purim, but we get to eat like them as well! From making hamantashen to some great ideas for your shalach manot gift baskets, this section will help make your Purim that much more enjoyable!
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