This article, (published in examiner.com)[http://www.examiner.com/article/purim-center-city-s-rabbi-eliezer-hirsch-stresses-god-s-role-evil-of-world], quotes Rabbi Hirsch’s take on Purim and evil:
The hours left in the 5772 edition of the Jewish holiday of Purim are winding down. Most who are observing the holiday, at least in the Eastern Time Zone, are probably well through their checklists of hearing two readings of the Megillah/Book of Esther, giving two donations to the poor, giving two packages which include two different types of foods to friends, and having a festive meal … in addition to perhaps having a little more to drink than usual.
But there is plenty of time to contemplate some of the messages of Purim, and one such message to consider was discussed by Rabbi Eliezer Hirsch of Center City Philadelphia’s Congregation Mekor Habracha on WWDB AM 860’s The Chai95 Radio Hour with Adam Taxin this past Tuesday.
Rabbi Hirsch called in to the show following a segment about Purim with Rabbi Nochum Kurinsky of Chabad @ The Beaches in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, about which Rabbi Hirsch said: “He wrote a beautiful piece [about whether Purim is about miracles or coincidences].” Subsequently, Rabbi Hirsch brought up “another element to Purim, which has to do with the concept of evil.”
In terms of Purim, evil is associated in particular with “the nation of Amalek, and Haman, who was the antithesis and negative side of the story of Purim.”
Haman, Rabbi Hirsch continued, “really represented the concept of evil and the Jewish people fighting that evil was really one of the themes of Purim.”
On a more general level, according to Rabbi Hirsch: “When dealing with evil, we have to realize that everything, first of all, is from G-d, and that Amalek was telling the Jewish people that evil is the proof that G-d doesn’t care about, the world doesn’t care about the Jewish people … The Jewish people have definitely experienced a lot of evil in their history, and there’s definitely a lot of evil in the world, but we believe that that evil is from G-d and not a contradiction to G-d’s love.”
Rabbi Hirsch’s shul, Mekor Habracha, has already held its Purim festivities. Last night, after a reading of the Megillah/Book of Esther, the congregation had a pizza and costume party, followed by a performance by Moments of Wrong, a rock band comprised of members of Mekor Habracha.
However, anyone looking still to indulge in Purim festivities in the general Center City area should be aware that Chabad of Northern Liberties will be holding a “Purim in Africa and Chili Cook off” event later today at 851 North American Street. The Megillah will be read at 5 pm at JCNL (shul). There will be a drum circle and the beginning of chili making at 6 pm. Chili tasting and judging, as well as a performance by the Baal Shem Tov Band will take place at 8 pm. The price is $18 online, $20 at the door.