The Jewish calendar is currently between two festivals – Purim and Passover – which are based on two captivating stories – the story of Esther and the story of Moses. The stories have some strikingly similarities. However, they also differ in one key respect.
The Passover story is set in Egypt and the Purim story in Persia. These were both countries that the Jews lived, but could not be openly Jewish. And then a protagonist comes forward – in the Purim story, Mordechai – and in the Passover story – Moses – they are both leaders, wise beyond their years and are prepared to take risks for what they believe in -Mordechai refused to bow to Haman, the Prime Minister, and Moses killed an Egyptian because of the way he was treating an Israelite. Finally both protagonists are humble enough to realise that they cannot achieve their goal by themselves – Mordechai asks Esther, who was either his niece or wife (depending on how you interpret the story),to try and influence the king because he knew he could do that himself and Moses asks Aaron, his elder brother, to be his spokesman because he knows he has weak oratory skills. And finally both the Purim and Passover story have the most captivating and mesmerising plots – hope lost, murder and the fall from power. Indeed, if you don’t know the story of Esther or Moses I implore you to read them – if I hadn’t have heard the stories thousands of times before, I would be entranced.
However, that is where the similarities between the two tales end. Because they have one fundamental difference – in the Passover story the route for the Jewish people to follow is clearly signposted. G-d through Her supernatural miracles – the plagues and the splitting of the sea – clearly indicates that the Jewish people’s path is to follow Moses out of Egypt (not that all the Jews were keen about this idea, but that is another story). But in the story of Purim is not one of mind-blowing, wondrous, miracles that clearly show the direction of the plot. Instead, the characters are presented with a series of challenges and at each and every step take decisions that they hope will lead them the right way, but they don’t know for sure.
And so it is with my own life. I am muddling through. Sometimes my life seems to make sense but most of the time it doesn’t and I face an uphill battle, I struggle on. About a year ago, I was randomly searching the internet when I came upon a piece on Wikipedia about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and all of a sudden all the puzzle pieces seemed to fit – I was convinced that I had ADHD and finding this article was some sort of miracle. And so I went to a doctor and she said that although I have executive function problems (because for those of you that don’t know ADHD is a disorder of the executive function) it was my epilepsy that was causing my difficulties. But I was not convinced. So I got another opinion. Same thing. The doctor said – your disorder is about your epilepsy and not ADHD. And then I went to my neurologist, and I described my symptoms and she prescribed me an extensive stay in hospital for some more tests. This must be a miracle, I thought. At the hospital I will find my answers. And at each stage I thought ‘I know why my story is taking me this way. It’s all making sense now I understand why my puzzle pieces of life have turned out like this’. And in some sort of arrogance as my story began to unfold, before I went into the next doctor’s appointment I started to believe that I understood G-d’s mind. That is until I got a slap in the face and the doctor didn’t provide the answers. And then once again I am left slowly trying to feel my way in the dark searching for a miracle.
I look to Esther and Mordechai’s story and I see that G-d is there but She’s hidden, unlike is the Passover of story but I am reassured that their story does turn out well in the end (Haman is found out to be the baddy and lots of non-Jews die in battle). But I realise that I have to do, what Esther and Mordechai did, and just what most of us do, when our plot makes twists and turns, – I have to do what is right at the time until, for that moment in time at least, the puzzle pieces of my life finally look like they makes sense.
In other news: No other news. I am awaiting my medication change and my referral to the neurorehabilitation unit. Both things should happen quickly but for whatever reason they are taken time. I really am still looking for a miracle to happen and a magic pill to finally piece together the puzzle of my life. But my search is now looking a bit desperate and although I pray I am starting to give up on whether it will ever happen.