web analytics
November 22, 2014 / 29 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Purim: A Rejuvenation Of The Torah

Sprecher-031414

(In memory of my mother and teacher, Rivkah bas Yitzchok, in commemoration of her shloshim.)

 

On Purim, as on Chanukah, we recite Al Hanissim. In this thanksgiving prayer, the stories of the miracles of both festivals are related in a short and concise synopsis.

There is, however, an obvious difference.

In the Al Hanissim of Chanukah there is a finale: “Afterward your sons came to Your House, they cleansed Your Sanctuary, purified Your Place of Holiness and lit lights in Your Holy Courts, and instituted these eight days of Chanukah for giving thanks and praise to Your Great Name.”

In contrast, the Al Hanissim of Purim concludes abruptly: “You in Your Abundant Compassion voided Haman’s plan and caused that which he sought to do to recoil on his own head, and they hanged him and his sons upon the gallows.”

What kind of an ending is this? Where is the rest of the story? Why not tell us that Purim is to be commemorated with reading the megillah, dispensing mishloach manot, giving gifts to the poor, and partaking in a Purim feast?

Is it because the theme of Purim is never ending and just one example of the ceaseless hatred of Jews throughout history?

Though the history of our people is full of Hamans, our rabbis chose not mention that in the Al Hanissim and thereby spoil our joyous celebration of Purim.

Even so, why is there no uplifting conclusion to the Al Hanissim prayer of Purim?

The answer is that the central point of the story of Purim is the Jews’ rededication to the Torah over and above the merrymaking, and that this time it was done willingly and with love, unlike at Mount Sinai when it took some coercion.

In fact, the joy of Purim is in honor of our renewed commitment to Torah, when we became rejuvenated as Jews.

Therefore, the megillah scroll is to be written on parchment and requires sirtut, etched lines. Sirtut denotes the permanency of the writing. Tractate Megillah 16 states that etched lines are required in the megillah because its words of truth are the words of the Torah –an eternal message.

As the megillah teaches us, Purim “should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.”

About the Author: Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher is dean of students at the Diaspora Yeshiva in Jerusalem.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Purim: A Rejuvenation Of The Torah”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colleagues of the hanged Arab bus driver whose death continues to be referred to as murder despite autopsy finding of suicide. These are Arab drivers of Egged buses, claiming they suffer discrimination by Israelis.
Arab Pathologist Singing New Tune: Murder (By Jews) Not Suicide
Latest Indepth Stories
Dalia Lemkos, HY"D Is this the image you think of when you hear the word "settler?"

The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Temple_Mount_aerial_from_south_tb_q010703bsr-300x225

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

voting

Having a strong community presence at the polls shows our elected officials we care about the issues

Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.

Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.

The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.

Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.

Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.

In any event, the Constitution gives Congress what is popularly described as the “power of the purse” – that is, the power to raise revenues through taxation and to decide how the money should be sent.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

There was much to learn from Judge Kramer and the examples he set remains a source of inspiration and a resource from which to learn. He was and remains a great role model.

More Articles from Rabbi Ephraim S. Sprecher
chain.jpg

Rambam: Regarding a husband who refuses to give a Get: “He is beaten until he says, ‘I agree.’ ”

Raindrops on a lemon tree in Eretz Yisrael.

Increased education about the land, the people, and the Torah of Israel is the antidote to today’s confusion.

Why not tell us that Purim is to be commemorated with reading the megillah, dispensing mishloach manot, giving gifts to the poor, and partaking in a Purim feast?

It all comes down to our state of mind.

The Talmud (Berachot 26b) says, “tefillot avot tiknum” – “prayer was established by the avot.” The Talmud then uses the following verse (Bereshit 19:27) to prove how Avraham established prayer: “Vayaskem Avraham baboker el hamakom asher amad sham et pnei Hashem” – “And Avraham got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before God.”

We have a custom of reciting Shir HaShirim (the Song of Songs) on the Shabbat during Pesach. Many reasons have been offered to explain why.

The festival of Chanukah celebrates two miracles – the military victory over the Syrian Greeks and that one small cruse of oil, good for one day, providing light for eight days. The miracle of the light, however, is the main focus and central theme of this festival.

The number four seems to play a major role in the Pesach Seder. We have four questions, four sons, four terms of endearment and, of course, one of the major features we soon will be enjoying – the drinking of four cups of wine.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/purim-a-rejuvenation-of-the-torah/2014/03/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: