Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happily Ever After

I don't like suspense.

For as long as I can remember, whenever I'd read a book, as soon as I'd get to a part that was even mildly suspenseful, I'd flip to the back just to make sure everyone was alive and well. As long as I knew that, I could relax and enjoy the book. It's how I read A Little Princess and Little Women and even the Little House books. It's how I read everything. I needed to know that everything would turn out happily ever after. I didn't want to go through the entire book worrying.

I still read that way. I still flip to the back to make sure the character I am getting to know doesn't get sick or die or get divorced. I just need to know.

Sometimes, the character does die. Sometimes she does get sick...or lose her baby. It's not always all happily ever after anymore. But I still flip to the back to check. I still need to know. I don't like it, but at least I know.  

Real life has enough stress. I don't want more of it when I read.

Sometimes I wish I could do that in real life. I wish I could flip to the back - just to make sure it all ends happily ever after. Just to make sure everything turns out make sure that everything I worry about - everyone I worry about - turns out fine at the end. I just want to know.

But what if it doesn't? What if it's not all happily ever after? Would I still want to know? 

Hashem directs Moshe, "כְּתב זאת זִכָּרוֹן בַּסֵּפֶר, וְשִׂים בְּאָזְנֵי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ." Write this as a memorial in the book and place it in the ears of Yehoshua. The Gemara explains that this refers to, among other things, the Megillah.

According to this, Moshe wrote the Megillah long before the story actually happened. He was instructed to tell it to Yehoshua, and it was passed on to the leader of each generation - until, and including, Mordechai.

U'Mordechai yada es kol asher na'asa...

Mordechai knew.

Mordechai knew what was going to happen. Mordechai knew the end of the story. He knew how it would all turn out. He knew that it would all end happily ever after. While Esther was wondering why she was chosen...while the Jewish people were worrying about Haman's decree...Mordechai knew.

I was talking to a woman whose 31 year old daughter is getting married. I wonder...all those years of worrying and waiting, would they have wanted to know? When she was 21, would it have been easier for them to have known that she would not get engaged until she was 31, or would they rather not have known - and kept hoping that it might happen any day? Would I want to know?

If things do not turn out exactly as I hope...if it's not all happily ever after...would I want to know?

I don't know the answer to that. If I was given that option...if I had to decide...I don't know what I would choose.

I just want happily ever after. I want to flip to the end and see that it all turns out happily ever after.

Like the story of Purim.