Happy Purim (a week late)! Last week I performed at the annual Jewish celebration of Purim (one show was at a Synagogue, the other was at a community center). It was a really fun and interesting day for me since this was the first time I had performed for this particular celebration. The background for the celebration is the story of Esther in the bible and how she saved the Jewish people from annihilation by the hand of Haman. It’s a fantastic historical story and you should read it if you haven’t done so before.
Anyway, at the festival everyone dresses (almost like it’s Halloween) and it’s a very festive atmosphere. The thing that really stood out to me was that unlike costumes that you normally see, like witches and monsters, etc. There were a ton of kids dressed up like doctors, pilots and other professional jobs. Have you ever wondered that Jewish people, as a whole, make up a large percentage of these high end jobs even though they are only a small percentage of the total population? Alicia and I talked about this on our drive between the shows and we couldn’t help but note the difference between the role models that Jewish families place in front of their kids and the rest of our society.
We need to change the role models that we present to our kids. We can’t expect our kids to really achieve their potential if the only people they have to look up to are actors (with their extremely dysfunctional lives, marriages, drug problems, etc.), musicians (many with the same issues), and athletes. Now don’t misunderstand me, there are some very good examples in each of these categories that would make great role models, but generally speaking, they aren’t the type of people that exude proper behaviors that successful people need to emulate. Why not, instead, let your kids look up to someone like Warren Buffett or Winston Churchill. Or maybe we should promote careers that will require our kids to aspire to something truly great, like a pilot or a doctor.
You may agree with me or not, but you can’t argue with success, Jewish families obviously know something that many of us in this country have lost and instead of criticizing them and demonizing their success, why don’t we try and emulate them since they have a long track record of coming out on top.