Purim has always been a favorite Jewish holiday of mine. In fact, if we got to rank Jewish holidays by memorability and personal impact, Purim would be number one in my book (and many others as well). I can even remember back to when I was around 4 or 5. My sister, Hanna (6 years older than I) had a joint costume. I was Mordecai and she was my horse (with her hair in a ponytail in the front of her face).
The story signifies the triumph of justice and the saving of a people who stood up for themselves. It also stands for the impact that one person can have – either positively or negatively – and for what happens when people generalize and act tyrannically.
Here’s the wikipedia version of Purim: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purim
In this day and age, this holiday has incredible parallels and significance. Geographically, Shushan is Iran. Lord knows there are some leadership issues afoot there.
Fundamentally – the lesson I take away from Purim is that, again, everyone has the obligation to stand up for what’s right and what will make the world a better place. AND everyone has the obligation to listen to others in order to be open to different definitions that people may have for “right” and “better”.