Some people compare Purim to Halloween, mainly because of the costumes. But while Israeli schools are putting on elaborate parades and acting out the history of the Purim holiday, children on Halloween go from door to door shouting "trick and treat" and filling up on candy. And the adults, in both holidays, get to party, often drinking a little too much, but having the luxury of hiding behind the anonymity of their costume.
Who among us does not wear a mask? Some masks make us faceless in a crowd. Other masks seductively reveal just enough of ourselves to have people asking for more. Would Romeo and Juliet have ever found the courage to meet, had it not been for the mask?
Much of this is imitation, something that begins already early in our childhood years, where children mimic their parents by putting on their shoes and clothes. Later it often becomes a means of protest, as rebellious teenagers dress in stark contrast to their parents' appearance. And much later, it is a feeble attempt to regain lost youth, in our denial of getting old.
Such are the costumes we wear, and the people we want to be. When was the last time you made that leap of faith? Did you succeed?