As many of you know the month of Adar is Known as a month of celebration and happiness. Talmud tells us that “when the month of Adar arrives, we increase in joy” to welcome a season of miracles. This is why we decided to collaborate with Shira Shenberger - blogger from It’s a Confetti Party! Just in time to celebrate Purim. As soon as we found her blog we fell in love with her positive energy. She is unique and loves to spread happiness and Joy. She is all about Bright Colors and Jewish holidays so we knew something awesome would come out of this collaboration. We hope you like it as much as we did!
The Joy in Judaism
By Shira Shenberger
Color POP! Brights! Happiness! Brain giggles! Tradition, Judaica, Challah paraphernalia, Holiness.
STOP &THINK: Do these two word sets go together in your mind? THEY SHOULD!
This week it’s all about @apeloigcollection. This magnificent brand has taken “tradition meets design” to the NEXT LEVEL. They are COOL. They are FUNKY! And best of all they are ON POINT in the traditional sense. Judaica should be CHEERY. It should bring a smile to your face, it should give you those giddy feels when you swoon over MUST have décor. Being orthodox doesn’t mean your style gots to be orthodox. OUT with the heavy wood pieces and the silver/gold everything…In with the NEONS and the GLAM and the HAPPY SHINY sparkly things. …being Jewish should be pleasurable. Being religious HAS to come from a JOYFUL place in your heart. THAT is how tradition stays relevant and gets past down to the next generation and the generation after that. THAT is how we keep it alive.
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai explained that during the Purim story the Jews deserved annihilation NOT because they partook in Achashverosh’s party but because they bowed to Nebuchadnezzar 70 years earlier. Seriously?
How could events of seventy years earlier, whose perpetrators were no longer alive, cause the destruction of people who did not participate in them? Another puzzling thought: We know that the Jews only bowed down out of respect for the ruler not because in their hearts they were giving up on God. Why did they deserve such harsh punishment?
KEEP SCROLLING THE ANSWER ISNT SHORT BUT IT’S A GOODY…
During the giving of the Torah God suspended Har Sinai over everyone’s heads and said, "Accept the Torah or this will be your burial place." Because of this there was a legitimate reason to back out of the agreement with God on the grounds of coercion. It was only in the days of Achashverosh, in the context of the Haman story, that the Jews willingly surrendered this claim of coercion and fully accepted the Torah with all their hearts. Nachmanides Explains: Adhering strictly to Jewish Law in times of redemption cannot be compared to Torah observance in times of exile. When God provided the ideal milieu for Torah observance, the issue of coercion never arose! As long as the Jews were in Israel with all the trappings required to lead a successful holy existence no one dreamt of protesting coercion.
Coercion first reared its ugly head in exile after the Jewish people were stripped of all the demonstrations of Divine favor and the strict observance of Judaism began to seem like a one-sided proposition. The Jews felt like they were asked to go to extraordinary lengths to keep up their religious duty while God appeared only to regard them with positive disfavor. Nebuchadnezzar's command to bow to his idol was precisely the point that the Jews issued their protest of coercion. In effect they said to God, "As you have chosen to withdraw your special protection from us, we must learn to live in the world as ordinary people. Our beliefs have not changed. Our commitment to the Torah and its observance remains the same, however, we cannot refuse to bow to Nebuchadnezzar. Our practice of Judaism must conform to the realities of the situation in which we find ourselves. As You have made it clear that You will no longer extend us the embrace of Your special protection, we cannot afford to live under Nebuchadnezzar's rule and disobey him. He will certainly destroy us if we do."
The Jews of Babylon were unshaken in their faith and remained spiritually untainted. They simply adapted realistically to their altered physical circumstances in order to ensure their survival. However, as time wore on this change of lifestyle began to pay a spiritual price. While outwardly, the practice of Judaism continued, inwardly the Jews began to look at the world in the same way as the pagans around them. They no longer dreamed of Jerusalem. They aspired to the same trappings of success and enjoyment as the rest of nations of the world.
When they chose to attend Achashverosh's party their inner vision of their unique mission in the world was so lost to them that they managed to ENJOY the party. REMEMBER! That the occasion for calling the party was to celebrate the fact that the anticipated Jewish redemption, which had been predicted to take place in the seventieth year of their exile, never materialized. So deep was the Jewish desire to fit in at this time, that Jews could actually enjoy their own public humiliation.
What began as a reluctant adaptation to the so-called realities of the exile seventy years earlier, gradually developed into a positive enjoyment of the pagan way of life. In the end, the threat of Jewish annihilation that arose from the harmless adaptation to reality turned out to be as real as a physical threat. When they were faced with Haman's edict, the Jewish people found the strength to reach deep into their collective soul and realize that the physical annihilation which threatened them was ACTUALLY an indication of the spiritual level to which they had sunk. They were threatened with outward physical annihilation only because they were close to dying as a people spiritually on the inside. They reexamined their attitude to their own commitment to Judaism, located the protest of coercion, and gave it up for good. As a result, the physical edict was rescinded and the Jews were blessed with "Light, happiness, joy and honor."
The spiritual ideals of the Purim holiday are meant to teach us to reject the tendency to view Judaism as a forced burden. It is easy to see the Torah as coercion as long as we feel that strict observance is impractical in our realities. But as Jews in exile we must find JOY in the PRACTICE of Judaism to be able to maintain our commitment as the focus of our existence. Keeping our Judaica current, exciting, wonderful, bright and something that ACTIVELY creates happiness is the KEY to keeping our focus on tradition while still allowing ourselves to experience those wonderful artsy vibes from materialistic objects. Let’s recommit this Purim holiday to channel our positive creative HAPPY energies towards our spiritual life and accept the Torah guide as something special and wonderful instead of something forced upon us.
The Confetti Lifestyle Brand:
♡Shira Shenberger♡ •Product stylist• •DIY Wonderfulness• •Lifestyle Inspiration• •Luxury Confectionary Brand• KOSHER.Instagram: @itsaconfettiparty