Purim is a holiday for children and the children at heart.
And why shouldn't it be? According to Jewish teachings, it was because of the Jewish children that the miraculous rescue of the entire Jewish people took place.
Let's back track a little in the Purim story, though, to get the whole picture. Haman had managed to get King Ahasuerus to agree to his evil plan of totally annihilating the Jewish people. He even had in his hand the decree with the royal stamp on it, rendering the ruling irrevocable. At this point, Haman once again encountered Mordechai, who was teaching Torah to a group of thousands of children.
As before, this time too, Mordechai did not bow or in any way humble himself to Haman. Feeling himself at the apex of his political power and prowess, Haman was more enraged than ever before. He vowed that the children would be the first to die.
The mothers of the children begged them to leave Mordechai, but they refused. They urged their children to break their fast - a fast which, at Esther's request, Mordechai had required of the entire Jewish people. The children, once more, refused. They would remain with Mordechai, studying Torah and praying to G-d with the firm belief that He would hear their sincere and pure prayers and redeem them from this catastrophe.
What was it that gave these children such faith, and more to the point, such hope, despite the seemingly helpless situation?
The children had been studying with Mordechai laws concerning the Holy Temple. Though the First Temple had already been destroyed and the Second Temple had not yet been built, Mordechai taught the children about the Holy Temple. These teachings instilled within the children a strong belief, longing and hope that at any moment the Holy Temple could and would be rebuilt.
The children's prayers, their tears and cries, persuaded G-d to revoke the Divine Decree (thereby nullifying the earthly decree of Haman and King Ahasuerus). And what made their prayers so powerful, was that they had been educated by Mordechai to believe in the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, the ingathering of the exiles back to Israel, and the Redemption.
Today, thank G-d, there is no place in the world where Jews are threatened with annihilation. But still, there are personal, communal, national and global issues that we would like to see rectified. All of us, on various levels, dream of a perfect world.
When the long-awaited Redemption commences, all of humankind will experience this perfect world. And the way to properly direct our prayers and actions to hasten the Redemption, is through studying Torah, specifically Torah that inspires hope, faith and longing for the Redemption.
Happy Purim, and may we celebrate it together as one, united people, in Jerusalem with the revelation of Moshiach, NOW!