Happiness is a feeling of completion. When a person feels like they’re missing something, and then they get out of their lacking situation, they’re happy. The missing something can be a new house, a car, a vacation, or even that piece of chocolate that you want now.
A deeper sense of happiness is when we feel the completion with what we already have. That’s the happiness that comes from being with family, being with a loved one, or sitting in the Shul that you love.
The deepest level of happiness comes totally from within, it comes from a sense of being, not from having. It’s when we sense our own innate existence and we connect our existence to all of existence, and to the Creator of all existence. That’s the ultimate feeling of completion and happiness and it’s not dependent on anything we have or don’t have.
It’s hard to connect to our being, because in our world we are so focused on what we have, what we want, what we don’t have. The Purim story opens with the King of Persia throwing a massive 180 day party for all the people. The purpose of the party was to usher in a new world order of “having”, to replace a world of “being”. This is the world we live in today, one focused on “having” and not “being”.
On one level, the triumph of the Purim story is the defeat of the genocide promoting anti-Semite, Haman. The deeper victory is the fact that the Jews reconnected to a life of “being” and connecting to the Creator. As you know, G-d’s name is not written once in the entire Megillah, because His presence was not obviously manifested in the world. We live in that same world, where it’s often difficult to sense G-d’s presence and generate the joy of connecting to G-d, the source of all existence.
So when we hear the Megillah on Purim, we can connect to a deeper happiness. The Megillah helps us understand that there are no coincidences, only a Creator who is directing the crazy events in the world and in our lives, for our ultimate benefit. That ultimate benefit will come when we can connect to our own existence, and connect to the innate existence of others, and collectively connect to The Source of all existence. That is the ultimate happiness and completion, and we can all take a collective step in that direction in Shul this week.
Chag Someach – Happy Purim