The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Essence of Purim

Sgt. Poland's Happy Purim Hearts Club

Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

What is Purim?

What is the essence of this frantic day that holds such strong sway over our minds?
The joy, the exchange of gifts,the Megillah reading, gragers swung -Haman's name erased, Hamentashen, masquerading and L'chaim . . .

A day of energy and joy, good hearts and prayers answered -our people: Young and old, man, woman and child redeemed.

Purim is the understanding that the blood that pulses beneath the skin of our reality is far deeper then one that we perceive, one completely beyond logic. The essence of the day is the revelation of the eternal essence of G-d, made manifest in the vary fabric and matrix of reality. What is beyond . . . found here. This concept expresses itself in every aspect of the holiday.

The Name:

The name Purim comes from the Persian word for a lottery - named after the lot that Haman cast to determine the time for his would be holocaust.
A lottery is not something that is determined by logic or understanding, when we cast lots we step beyond the realm of the rational and tap into something higher. The Zohar says that Purim is a day greater then Yom Kippur. Yom Kippurim, as the day of atonements is called in the Bible, can be read Yom K'Purim, a day like (but unequal to) Purim . . . On both Purim and Yom Kippur the element of beyond time and space are expressed -both feature a lottery as a prominent aspect of the story., both are about returning to our source in order to bring about atonement. However, what we do on Yom Kippur through fasting and time spent in synagogue, we do on Purim with eating, drinking, and experiencing the physical world. While Yom Kippur is 'limited' to the realm of the unlimited, the atonement of Purim comes through the very fabric of the mundane.

The Eternal War with Amalek

The prelude to the story of Purim is the battle between the nation of Amalek, the forbearer of Haman, and the Jewish people during the exodus from Egypt. Though the battle was won, the war with Amalek is said to continue to this day -"the name of G-d will not be complete . . . until Amalek has been destroyed."
The Chassidic masters explain that Amalek sought to cool off the energy and excitement that we felt upon leaving Egypt and during our preparation to receive the Torah. Amalek is the inclination to serve G-d, but without the vibrancy and energy that is necessary. Pray, but don't concentrate. Do good, but don't get excited about it. Be a Jew in the synagogue, but don't stand out on the street. In Kabbalistic terms, this is described as the separation of G-d's name Yud Keih (The cognitive expression of the Creator) and Vuv Keih (the emotive and practical revelation) -thus G-d's name is not complete until Amalek has been uprooted, both physically and spiritually -when we cease our spiritual stultification and lethargy. What is more, only by tapping into our innate connection with G-d, one beyond knowledge and understanding, can we uproot Amalek.

The decree:

The Talmud explains that the spiritual source of the decree began when the Jewish people placed too much faith into their own power, their own connections. They felt that their existence and safety was dependent on Achashverosh, not on their Creator.

Our existence in not contingent upon the laws of nature around us –true we exist in a physical world with set laws, and must act within them, however, this action should be with the knowledge that it is only to make a vessel to bring down G-d’s blessing. We exist firmly entrenched within the world, yet our souls remain above, connected to their source. By placing too much faith in the power of the Persian Empire and its king, we placed ourselves within the realm of destruction.

The miracle:

The salvation, and miracle, of Purim further brings out this point. Mordechai declared a public rally, with fasting and prayer; Esther and her maids joined in as well. Seemingly Mordechai ought to have dressed himself in a suit, put on a top hat (or at least a designer turban), become a lobbyist, and made us of his connections. Instead he put on sackcloth and ashes, a veritable faux-pas –even in those days.

For Mordechai and Esther knew that even though they needed to take physical action (as we see that Esther did indeed approach the king), their true salvation would come from above.

The acceptance of the Torah:

Our sages teach that we accepted the Torah a second time on Purim. Why was this day, of all days, the one chosen for our affirmation of the eternal covenant between Israel and G-d?
When the Torah was given the Jewish people fainted with every commandment -our souls fled the bounds of our bodies, unable to withstand the immense spiritual revelation of the Torah . . . On Purim, we connected through our selfsacrfice to the Creator. Each year we reafirm this bond to the unlimited state of beyond consciousness once more through the boundless joy of the day.

Giving gifts:

We give gifts as an extension of our desire for the unbounded joy of the day. As children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob we know that true joy does not stop with the pleasures of a fine wine, a hearty meal with family and friends or the like . . . We search out for a our fellow, we look for others to spread the joy to. We give gifts to our friends and charity to those who in need, so that the joy will truly be boundless -if there is a person in even the most distant land not happy and somehow missing out on the power of Purim, then we know that our joy is also lacking.


The Megillah describes Purim as "Days of feasting and joy" -the very essence of the day is joy. All other Mitzvos associated with Purim are limited to a certain aspect or time of the day -but joy permeates every moment. Our Sages said one is required to drink on Purim until he does not know the difference between "cursed be Haman" and "blessed be Mordechai" (unless of course any negative results would occur). This levity is one akin to the deepest levels of G-dliness. It is taught Nichnas Yayin, yatza Sod -with wine the secrets come out . . . The level beyond is brought down.

May it be G-d's will that through our fulfillment of the special Purim commandments (amongst all of the commandments year round) we merit the ultimate revelation -by bringing one deliverance (that of Purim) to the next (that of the final redemption) -now!

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Anonymous said...

i love purim... and purim costumes...
what are ya dressing up as this year?

Anonymous said...

cool cool
purim is today (14 adar 2)

Anonymous said...

why if i go to it automatically goes to answer in comments ASAP

Mottel said... is forwarding address -when it is typed in, it sends you to my blog.
Why -may I ask who you are?

forgot said...

i forgot my name

Anonymous said...

whoas this picture taken this year?