There are two kinds of Jews according to scholar Yossi Klein Halevi — Purim Jews and Passover Jews. Purim Jews see real evil in the world. They know that Haman is not only a man who wanted to destroy us in the past, he is an archetype that still exists today. Purim Jews care about our security.
Passover Jews take the lessons of our freedom and extend them to the world — they know what it is to be the stranger so they work to ensure everyone’s freedom. Passover Jews care about justice for everyone.
It’s probably most accurate to say that each of us has a bit of a Purim and a Passover Jew inside. Our inner Purim Jew is triggered by the terrorist attack in Brussels. As the death toll rises, we are reminded that innocence does not shield us from evil.
And, our inner Passover Jew is triggered by the vitriol against minorities and venom for people with differing opinions that has become a regular feature in this campaign cycle. We are proud of the Union for Reform Judaism for holding candidates accountable for the impact of their rhetoric.
As we come upon the holiday of Purim, we can neither let our fear nor our outrage define us entirely. It is our duty as modern day Jews to honor both our inner Purim Jew and our inner Passover Jew — never forgetting that both of them are essential to what it means to be Jewish.