Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Simchas PURIM !!

HA@@Y SIMCHAS PURIM ~!@#$%^&*()
Some Historical Background: The Sefer Kedushas Levi originally appeared in its first edition in Slavita as a book containing teachings on Channukah and Purim and regarding miracles as well as a few samplings of novelae chiddushim on Halachah and Aggadata from Rav Levi Yitzchak and his son's. The discussion of the Kedushos or sanctity of Channukah and Purim and the different facets of these holidays including the unique mitzvos that occur and are performed on that holy day were divided into chapters called Kedushos, Kedushah Rishona, Shneiyah and so on. This is why the sefer is named Kedushas Levi. It was only in later editions that Divrei Torah on the parsha, Nach, Pirkei Avos etc were only added in later subsequent editions.
In order to explain the Kedusha and sanctity of Purim.
These days of Purim are divided into three new mitzvos which we do not have on any other YomTov. The first is the reading of the Megillah. The second is Matanos Le'Evyonim - gifts to the poor. And the third is Mishloach Manos - gifts sent from each person to his fellow. The fourth mitzvah which is to eat and drink and have a festive meal is a mitzvah which we have each holiday YomTov.
And this holiday also had three distinct spiritual levels manifest which we do not have any other day either. The first is the miracle which Hashem did for our forefathers during those days at this time. And even though on Pesach and similar days we had miracles, however those miracles changed the natural order whereas the miracle of Purim occured within the natural order.
The second is the recieving of the Torah (Shabbos 88a). The third was that the leaders of the generation, the gedolei Yisroel understood that we were able to rescind and cancel the decree which was decreed upon us for bowing to a graven image (Megillah 12a). And although it was sealed in clay as explained in the Midrash (Esther Rabbah 7:13).1 And Eliyahu went and told Moshe and the Avos, the patriarchs. And only through the prayers and fasting of Mordechai and Esther did they cancel the evil decree against them and it was transformed into good, and from despair to rejoicing and from mourning to a festival (Esther 9:22).
And based on these three manifestations of events, they established the three mitzvos, and as we explained on the Kedushas Levi on Channukah (Kedusha I & II) that through the actions of the mitzvos we cause that the same spiritual lights that were manifest then will shine now once again.
The fourth light [was manifest through] that which the gentile nations of the world who hate the Jewish people for example the Baal HaTel - owner of the hill and Baal HaCharitz the owner of the pit. (Megillah 13b)2 were sent by G-d thinking to do favors for us, And further all the evil thoughts and plots that Haman the wicked plotted against all turned out for the best as we shall explain further on (Kedushah IV sv Omnam). Corresponding to these four events we perform and do the four mitzvos which are reading the megillah, giving gifts to the poor, giving gifts to our fellows and drinking till intoxication on Purim and I will explain them in each of four following Chapters called Kedushos inside.
1. The Midrash there says: R. Yishmael said 18,500 Jews went to the banquet and ate and drank and become intoxicated and acted improperly. Immediately Satan came and prosecuted against them before the Holy One. "Master of the World! How long will You associate with this nation? They distance theur hearts and belief from You. You should destroy them from this world because they will not return and repent to You." The Holy One answered Satan immediately "Bring me a parchment megillah and I shall write their destruction." Satan went and brought them Him parchment. At that moment Eliyahu HaNavi ran towards the patriarchs our forefathers and to Moshe the son of Amram. He said to them, "How long O patriarchs forefathers will you slumber and sleep?! Don't you see the calamity and the danger that your children are in? The ministering angels the sun, the moon, the stars, the constellations of the zodiac and heaven and earth are all crying in rebellion and how can you stand by and not even pay attention to what is going on?" The patriarchs asked Eliyahu, "Why is there a decree?" He answered, "Because they enjoyed the seudah of Achashverosh and therefore there has been a decree to destroy them from the world and blot out their memory." Avraham, Yitchak and Yaakov said to him, "if they have transgressed the G-d's law and the decree has been sealed what can we do?" Eliyahu retorted to Moshe, "faithful shepherd, how many times did you stand at the breach to cancel and annul decrees against Bnei Yisroel so that they should not be destroyed? As it says Tehillim (106:23) If Moshe His chosen one did not stand at the breach before Him to rescind His wrath from destroying them." What shall you say regarding this calamity, your children have come to the breaking point. Moshe asked, "Is there not even one kosher person in that generation?" Eliyahu answered, "Yes, there is and his name is Mordechai." "Go tell him," said Moshe, "so that he can stand over there and pray, and I will stand here and pray and beseech asking for mercy from the Holy One." Eliyahu said, "faithful shepherd, a letter of destruction has already been written against the Jewish people!" Moshe answered, "if it is sealed with clay then our prayers will be heard, however if it is sealed in blood what will be will be." Eliyahu told him, "It is sealed in clay." Moshe told him, "Go and tell Mordechai." He went immediately and told Mordechai. This is as it is written, (Esther 4:1) "And Mordechai knew all that had been done and Mordechai tore his garments."
2. The Gemarra in Megillah explains that King Achashverosh told Haman to take the money and do whatever you see fit with the Jews. R. Abba related a parable can what can we compare Achashveroh and Haman? To two people, one had a hill in his field and the other had a pit in his field. The owner of the pit asked to buy a hill. And the owner of the hill asked to buy a pit. One day their children became engaged to each other. The Baal HaCharitz who owned the pit said to the Baal HaTel who owned the hill. Please sell me your hill! Take it for free was the answer. Thus the king removed his ring and gave it to Haman.
Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim
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