Finding Joy in Difficult Times


In this month of Adar, and especially on the holiday of Purim, we are taught that we should be at least twice as happy as we normally are. How can this be? As I have often noted, it is not because we expect that on Purim the world and our lives in it will suddenly be transformed and perfected. Instead, we are asked to find a double measure of happiness at this time despite the brokenness that we still see in the world around us. This seeming paradox speaks to our human experience that joy and sadness are often matters of focus. We can find hints of sadness in even the most joyful moments, as when we shatter a glass at the conclusion of a wedding ceremony. So too, in the midst of sadness – whether in difficult times that we are going through as individuals or in times of stress and conflict in our society – we can find hints of joy, moments in which we can let laughter and warmth well up inside us and spill out to those around us. So on this Purim, no matter how you are feeling, search your heart for joy. Find a reason to laugh and rejoice, if even for a day. And may that joy, in some way we can’t completely understand, also push us and the world in the right direction.