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Wednesday, March 20

The Weekly Shtikle - Purim

One of the topics often discussed in relation to Purim is the theme of (Esther 9:27) "kiyemu vekiblu," B'nei Yisrael's voluntary re-acceptance of the Torah and its correlation to the more coerced acceptance on Har Sinai. In going through the Megillah one year, it occurred to me that the connection is really much broader than that. The entire story of Purim parallels the episode of Yetzias Mitzrayim in many striking ways.

  • In Parshas Beshalach, Amaleik attacks B'nei Yisroel as a result of a lapse in Torah as Chazal teach us with regards to the word "Refidim"(Shemos 17:8). So, too, we are taught that B'nei Yisroel reached a spiritual low when they partook in the Achashveirosh's feast. And instantly Amaleik was brought upon them..

  • The pesukim (Ibid 15:14-16) tell us that after the splitting of Yam Suf, all the nations of the world trembled and were petrified of B'nei Yisroel. A similar situation is found in the Megillah. "Many from among the people of the land converted to Judaism, for the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.

  • Despite the fear of the nations following the splitting of Yam Suf, Amaleik still displayed utmost brazenness by attacking B'nei Yisroel. Here, despite widespread conversion out of utter fear, Amaleik still had the audacity to wage war with B'nei Yisroel. (Pasuk 9:17 implies that all the killings were out of self-defense.

  • The gathering at Har Sinai brought B'nei Yisroel to an absolute level of unity, as Rashi teaches us (Shemos 19:2) "Ke'ish echad, beleiv echad," like one man with one heart. When Esther realized the time of need, she commanded (4:16) "go and gather together all the Jews." This was not to be a physical gathering but rather a gathering of hearts. Esther knew that the only way to pull through this ordeal was if the Jews were unified as one.

  • Following the acceptance of the Torah on Har Sinai, B'nei Yisroel merited the awesome "Gilui Shechinah" of the Mishkon. So, too, following the "Kiyemu vekiblu" of Purim, the Jews merited the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash.

The important lesson to take from these correlations would seem to be that in order to accomplish anything, the Jews need to be united. This is surely a great challenge for the Jewish community today. But we must strive to bring K'lal Yisroel together and may we merit the building of the third Beis HaMikdash speedily in our day.



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