What an amazing Purim of activities! One thing I love about Purim is the name itself - it literally means “chances” or “lots.” As we think back about the last day (or week leading up to) Purim, perhaps there is some acknowledgement that we can make of the ways luck, chance, lots, play in our lives. And perhaps to reflect on the ways that the “lot in life” that we were born into - the body we have, the socioeconomic class, the land and its history, and the conditions of war and peace that we were born into perhaps gave us less or more raffle tickets, so to speak, than others in the often unfair “game of life.” [footnote, I hate the game of life, but I do play it when my kids ask me, thankfully they haven’t for a while. I’m not even sure how we ended up with a game set of it.]
And in this moment of “pre-spring” when the Salish Sea region’s weather can’t figure out whether it is coming or going, when the flowers begin to bloom and the buds begin to hatch and the bears begin to wake up, I find this a season of great, as my Yiddish speaking grandmother would say, shpilkis (the band is great, by the way). One way to think about shpilkis, I believe, is the moment where potential energy turns into kinetic energy - I am sure science has a name for this, but hey, I’m a rabbi.
In this season of bursting energy, I need to remember self-care and community care. Thank G-d for Kadima’s intensive learning on disability justice over the past 4 years - sometimes learning from mistakes, and other times proactive. Self and community care can be encapsulated into Sins Invalid’s principle of sustainability, which they write about: “We pace ourselves, individually and collectively, to be sustained long term. Our embodied experiences guide us toward ongoing justice and liberation.” Black feminist/womanist writer, educator, and trainer Altheria Caldera writes about self care quotes other leaders such as Alice Walker, June Jordan, and Jameta Barlow.
This post-Purim (or still Purim if you are in a walled city) may we begin to collect our teachings on self care, community care, and collective liberation, such that as we prepare now for PASSOVER (woah, already? yes.), we are as girded for the journey as we can be, leave no one behind, and are clear whose wisdom and bodies we are following.
More on Passover soon, but until then, may the joys of Purim feed us, and may the oys of Purim be quickly removed from our midst through our own agency and/or the luck that Purim might brings.
PS - for those who missed the AMAZING shpiel last Saturday night, here is a recording (minute 40ish) and after the shpiel, keep listening for the fabulous music of the Band Shpilkis.
*With deep gratitude to the Daring Compassion Movement Chaplaincy cohort I am learning with for the teachings on self & community care in a context of trauma stewardship, tending harm, and caring for activist individuals and communities.