Purim points the way that beyond the give and take of the dance of opposites that is the nature of life, is the reality that God is beyond opposites and can be experienced directly in a state of pure, unfiltered joy.
It wasn't until I was an adult that I came to experience the deeper meaning of Purim. Our rabbis teach that Purim (a day of exuberant, drunken celebration) and Yom Kippur (our holiest day of atonement) have much in common.
When do we cross the line into materialism or even gluttony? When does having more cease to add appreciably to human satisfaction? Let us cultivate a deeper awareness of our personal measures of success, and celebrate them together.
We need to remember, but we also need to blot out the memory. We need to free ourselves from despair and darkness, and we need to find a way to bring light and joy and gladness and honor to everyone in the world.
Fortuitously positioned as a harbinger of spring, Purim joins Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day to form a triumvirate of formidable fun. As a wheel in this tri-cycle of minor American festivities, everyone can feel Jewish on Purim.