I saw you are putting on a comedy night for Purim. I have never understood the connection between the two. I know it is a festival of miracles, but then again, so is Pesach, and we don't do comedy acts on Pesach. So why jokes on Purim?
Humour is a funny thing. What is it that makes us laugh?
There are many forms of humour, but all of them have one thing in common- they are the fusion of opposites.
When two things that don't belong together come together, it is funny. When we hear a child speak with the maturity of an adult, or an adult act childishly; when we see animals seeming human or humans act like animals; when an absolutely ridiculous statement is said with a dead-pan straight face - we can't help but laugh. The lead-up of a joke takes us one way, and then the punch line takes us by surprise.
It is the power of the unexpected, out-of-the-blue, caught-off-guard badda-BAM that tickles us. Our minds are conditioned to expect things to turn out a certain way, so when our expectations are pleasantly defied, when the exact opposite of the predictable happens, it is funny.
And so the Purim story is the ultimate comedy. The lead up pointed toward tragedy - the entire Jewish people were under threat of annihilation. The punch line took us by surprise - the Jewish people were saved, their enemies vanquished, and we have another Jewish holiday to eat and celebrate.
So we celebrate Purim with jokes. Our history has shown us that no matter how bad things seem, it can all turn around in an instant. The biggest punch line is yet to come.