Purim the fun and the Hard Work

Sure Purim is full of fun and silliness. You can get by with a little help from your friends this year at our Strawberry Fields fractured Shabbat Service and Beatles themed Purim Spiel (Friday March 10, at6:15pm - NOTE SPECIAL TIME), but Purim is more than just crazy costumes and rabbis making fools of themselves.  
Rabbi Arnie Eisen reminds us to look at the Torah portion and prophetic readings for Shabbat Zachor, the Shabbat immediately before Purim, in order to understand the holiday’s full significance.  Shabbat Zachor translates as the Shabbat of Remembrance. We read that we are supposed to remember the evil Amalek, the enemy who attacked even the weakest people who lagged behind as the people went free from Egypt. And in this remembering, we are also paradoxically reminded that we are supposed to blot out Amalek’s name.  Then we read the Haftarah about King Saul, asking who forgot to remember that very enemy.  Saul failed to execute the Amalekite king Agag, and later the job was finished by the prophet Samuel.  There is a connection between Mordechai and Saul, as they are botht hought to be from the tribe of Benjamin.  Haman, according to our tradition is descended from the evil King Agag, and also traces his lineage back to the ancient enemy of Israel, as an Amalekite.  
On Purim, we embrace the silliness and joy, but we are also commanded “zachor” - 
remember. The only true way to eliminate the memory of Amalek is to work for social justice. We are told that we should be perfecting the world so that the evil achieved by Amalek would be impossible to imagine.
 Is it possible that the fate of a people could have been decided as it was in the book of Esther by one queen’s failure to show up to entertain the king in front of her courtiers?  Or perhaps by another’s success in a beauty contest? Did the Jewish people survive by mitzvah? By divine intervention? Or as Arnie Eisen points out, perhaps in the Purim they are just at the right place at the right time and survive quite by chance.
 We drown out the voice of Amalek, as we scream as loud as we canto mask Haman’s name. We celebrate with joy, the time when quite by chance, we were victorious over Haman and in turn Amalek.
 We mark this easy day by returning to the HARD work of tikkun olam, repairing the world. Chance is perhaps a once in a lifetime (or a once in our history occurrence). After we imbibe, and spiel scribe, and dance and jibe to the tunes of the Beatles, we will get back to the hard work. Ours is not a world that is secured by chance. Rather we must blot out the memory of Amalek, insuring a world of justice and love through the small and large acts of repair we do each and every day.