The Weekly Shtikle Blog

An online forum for sharing thoughts and ideas relating to the Parshas HaShavua

View Profile

Monday, March 9

The Weekly Shtikle - Purim

A Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to my nephew, Yeshaya Shonek, on his engagement to Tzippora Leah Munk of Kew Gardens. Mazal tov to the ganse mishpacha.


There are certainly no shortage of interpretations out there for the exact understanding of the ad delo yada obligation on Purim. However, I would like to share yet another which my rebbe R' Kulefsky, zt"l, would unabashedly repeat nearly every year in the name of the Nesivos. R' Kulefsky would often repeat certain vortlach in their applicable time over and over but would make it clear that he was well aware of the repetition but that it was nevertheless worthwhile for all who have heard it to hear it again. (Incidentally, this is not the first time I am posting this but felt it was apropos, considering it relates, albeit tangentially, to a recent topic discussed in daf yomi.)


As an introduction, the gemara (Pesachim 50a) states that whereas in this world, we make the berachah of hatov vehameitiv on joyous news and dayan haemes on unfortunate, saddening  news, in the world to come we will only make the berachah of hatov vehameitiv. The Tzelach asks, what unfortunate saddening news will there be on which to recite hatov vehameitiv? Rather, we will look back in retrospect at the events in history we regarded as sorrowful and realize the truth purpose of each and  every one and realize that it was all for the good.


In fact, even for us in this world, a certain degree of this realization can be reached. The sefer Orchos Tzaddikim (Sh'ar HaSimchah) describes the highest levels of joy, citing the gemara (Berachos, beginning of 9th perek, et. al.) which states that just as we recite a blessing on the good, we must recite a blessing on the bad and unfortunate. He understands that when the gemara says kesheim, just like, it means that we should recite a blessing on the bad with the same degree of joy and happiness as that which we do on the good.


In the story of Purim we read about the evil decree of Haman, a mournful moment for the people of that time. And yet, that decree was a catalyst to unprecedented levels of teshuvah and the ultimate deliverance from that imminent threat. And so, suggests Nesivos, the obligation to rejoice on Purim until one does not decipher between "cursed Haman" and "blessed Mordechai" is not to say we should lose our ability to judge and not see the difference between them. Rather, we should reach a level of joy such that, with the utmost clarity, we realize that there is no difference and that even the gravest calamities that befall us are part of a greater good.


We certainly live in turbulent times on many fronts. (Have there ever been times that weren't turbulent?) Our nation faces threats to its very existence at nearly every turn. But perhaps these dire times present an even greater opportunity to use this Purim to strive to reach the realization that everything HaShem does is for the good.



In a weekly chaburah, we recently discussed the last pasuk of the megillah. It is stated (10:3) that Mordechai was "gadol laYhudim veratzui lerov echav," popular with the multitude of his brethren. At least that's the simple understanding. Rashi, however, explains that the word rov actually means majority, but not all. Some of the men of the Sanhedrin distanced themselves from Mordechai after he became close with the king and lax in his studies. I was thinking – that is so sad to only have a following of a majority after all of his heroics. But I bet he still has Bibi Netanyahu jealous!!


Have a chag Purim samie'ach!


Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Please check out all Megillah-related Dikdukian posts

And all my previous Purim shtikles

Al Pi Cheshbon: 10,00 Kikars

Please visit the new portal for all Shtikle-related sites,

The Weekly Shtikle and related content are now featured on



Post a Comment

<< Home