Dr. Jackie D. Schiff
American Clinical Psychologist
A Message of Hope:
Purim 2020, Isolation and Corona
It's not by chance the holiday of Purim comes just when the world feels the threat of being wiped out by a virus. What is a virus? In essence, it's a disrupter of the norm, of normal physical systems and in turn psychological and spiritual patterns.
It helps to remember that G-d always provides the cure before the Maka, before the illness. It's not by chance this holiday of disruption comes to teach us how to manage ourselves during the uptick of world fear and hysteria.
The Purim story, tells how the Jewish people are threatened by a King's decree to wipe out all Jews from the land. One man Mordechai, makes a difference, he stands up and says: I have a way to fight this risk of annihilation that threatens to spread across 127 provinces of Persia, today's Iran. He takes his idea to his adopted daughter Queen Ester and says it's time. Are you ready to step up to your role of a lifetime? Together, these 2, joined as family and in Faith, bring the community together to fast and pray to G-d, to remember who they are, human beings who do not need to be afraid of the material world; rather, to remember we live under a Divine system and the need to reignite this deep, sometimes, hidden knowledge that always lies within.
Just at a time where people in communities and in the world fear being together, we are reminded how doubt and fear are disruptors and destroyers.
As medical advice tells us to stay away from others, we still need to remember we are all part of a world community and can take on the challenge to help people who feel and are isolated, especially the most vulnerable, and be in touch to show others, give gifts to others, and show we care.
You know, it's not by chance the Israeli government didn't close schools and synagogues before Purim. Religiously observant or not the government decision-makers understand, perhaps deep in the Soul, the Nation of Israel can handle the coronavirus, what it cannot possibly bear is a year without Purim, a year without the reminders and importance of Faith and laughter in times of fear. How we cannot possibly bear a year without seeing children and adults dressed in costume, tasting the possibility of change, trying on healthy masks and roles as Super-heroes and strength, roles with newfound creativity, roles finding the Queen in themselves; roles reminding us of all parts of ourselves; who we can become, especially under the threat of death, as long as we work to connect with Divinity. In keeping this connection we can overcome a decree from a human king and any randomness or 'illness lottery' in the world. It's our job as Jews and as members in the world community, that Yes, one person can affect change, by remembering who we are, one person can make a difference. You can make a difference. As the world seems to be upside-down, the Purim holiday reminds us, our King of the universe is in charge. We need to hear the message from above, stop relying on social media and outside voices of doubt, and return to the wisdom deep inside you.
Like Mordechai and Ester, by remembering, who you are, by remembering your faith, you can overturn fear and doubt and the decree of randomness and like the Megila says: restore light and happiness in yourself and spread joy to your communities and beyond.
Here is a Healing Imagery to help you to connect to the Light above and strength within:
Sit comfortably with our feet flat on the floor and close your eyes.
Breath Out Slowly three times
Breath out all that worries you, all that disturbs you, and all that tires you
See your breath coming out as a light smoke
See how the wisps of smoke go up into the sky and are carried, by the winds to the left.
Keep breathing out all that worries you, all that disturbs you and all that tires you.
Now, look into the sky on the right. See the cloudless sunny blue skies.
Begin to allow the golden sun and blue in the skies to come down to fill you.
Feel you are being filled and filled and filled by the golden blue lights.
All you have to do is breathe out and let the golden blue lights fill you.
Sense, see and feel how golden blue lights are entering and flowing through you.
Notice where you sense and feel movement or stirrings in your body
Breathe out slowly, open your eyes and come back into the room.