A Purim memory, in honor of Andrew Breitbart

Joel B. Pollak
22 Feb 2013

Religion can an amazing source of positive inspiration–often, counterintuitive inspiration.

This weekend marks the Jewish holiday of Purim, celebrating the miraculous salvation of the Jews of ancient Persia from extermination. (The story’s told in the “Megillah,” the Book of Esther, a quick and delightful read.)

Ever since, we Jews have been commanded by God to be happy on Purim (and to get drunk!)–not just on the day itself, but for the whole month. That commandment still applies, even in the worst of times.

Last year, Purim fell exactly a week after Andrew Breitbart died. It was a terribly sad period, and near the end of the day I had still not had time to attend a Purim service and fulfill my religious obligation to hear the Megillah read aloud.

That morning, I had my infamous interview with Soledad O’Brien, in which CNN continued its efforts (which had begun mere hours after Andrew’s death) to trash our brave founder.

That debate seemed to change everything. Listening to the show through my earpiece, as I waited for the camera to go live, I knew what they were going to try to do. Leaving the studio, I knew that they had failed. It felt like a reversal of fortune, appropriate to the Purim holiday. But I still had no time to hear the Megillah.

Finally, in the late afternoon, my colleague Ben Shapiro informed me that there was a Megillah reading near our office. We raced over there and made it just in time. I stood in the back of the room and as the words rang out, the tears just fell and fell and fell, a week’s worth of grief and exasperation and desperate triumph.

So, drink up, fellow happy warriors. It’s a sacred commandment. Be happy, even in these difficult times for America. Because Andrew Breitbart would have wanted us to, and because we will win, with God’s help, in the end.


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