On the holiday of Purim, we talk a lot about that which is hidden.
Esther is hidden, even in her very name. Her identity, her true self, her origins....all hidden.
God is hidden, the Holy Name not mentioned in the story even once.
Mordecai's saving of the king from would-be assassins, hidden in the King's record books.
We hide the filling inside our hamantaschen. What kind did you get?
And we wear masks on this day...masks that hide our true identity. We hide ourselves in the cloak of silliness and mirth, we hide behind the goofiness and the giddiness that changing our clothes into costumes allows.
There's a deep gulf of grief inside of me, a hole shaped like Sammy, who isn't here to see that mom relented and let a couple of Purim Carnival fish into the house.
And yet that deep gulf of grief is hidden, especially on a day like Purim. You can't see it on the outside.
"Be happy -- it's Adar!" we say.
And yet it's days like this one that make me want to sink far into that gulf, hide away, and retreat from the world. Purim is a pretty big deal in synagogue life -- we make silly videos, sing funny songs, tell goofy stories and generally act in a way totally opposite from our usual selves. Sometimes it's a total fakery, and that's part of the way that Purim works.
On Purim, we talk about that which is hidden.
And I realize that we all have hidden gulfs inside of us, deep rivers of grief and sadness, pains and problems. We all have these depths that are hiding.
On Purim, a day that we're doing a lot of "faking it" in so many ways...let's remember the hidden in all of us, and let's take that lesson forward into every day.