In the coming days, Jews will celebrate the Purim festival, a holiday built on the theme of how everything can instantly be turned upside down. In the original Purim story, a day dedicated to the destruction of the Jews became the day of their triumph, while the gallows prepared for the Jewish leader Mordechai were used instead to hang their arch enemy, Haman. Upside down, indeed.
Purim marks as well the milestone of a year since our own world was turned upside down. It was immediately following last Purim that the pandemic caused North American synagogues to close their doors to in-person services, a closure that preceded the national lockdown and that has not yet been completely resolved.
There is however a more empowering aspect of our contemporary Purim story, built on the theme of communal responsibility.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.