web analytics
October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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
Yehudah Glick on the Temple Mount.
Yehuda Glick’s Condition Stabilizing, “He Was Very Lucky” (1:00 PM)
Latest Indepth Stories
Which glass has the poison?

The White House wanted to defame Netanyahu, undermine his reputation, impugn him & his policies

Adolf Hitler and the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, December, 1941.

Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.

Sheldon Silver

Woven deeply through it all is the Jewish obligation to fight injustice.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Only in the inverted world of academia would Jewish professors denounce the AMCHA Initiative report.

Many poskim were and are adamant about the responsibility of every individual to vote.

Individuals who may have been abused are the “clients” in need and receiving care and protection.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

To say he was beloved because of the way he loved his students does not sufficiently capture the reality.

The birth I speak about is to give birth to ourselves, to our full potential.

The extreme hypocrisy, contempt & vulgarity of the attacks indicate more than a policy disagreement

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: