web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Inside Purim: Insights On Purim And The Megillah


book-inside-purim

Share Button

Click for more Inside Purim.

Ever wonder?

Why is there a custom to dress up on Purim? Chazal explain that the threat on Purim was not really a threat at all. It was only the appearance of a threat, for in the end, Bnei Yisrael were not exterminated. Many years before the story of Purim took place, Nevuchadnetzar, the Babylonian ruler who destroyed the first Beis HaMikdash, forced Bnei Yisrael to bow to his idol (Daniel 3:3). The Jews did so, but only because they were coerced, and only for appearance’s sake. In their hearts, they were with Hashem. As punishment for this sin, middah k’neged middah, as a justified punishment, Hashem made only an appearance of a threat at Purim (Megillah 12a). Just as the hearts of Bnei Yisrael as they bowed to Nevuchadnetzar’s idol were with Hashem, so too the heart of Hashem was with Bnei Yisrael on Purim, and no calamity resulted. We dress up on Purim, often in the garb of goyim, to show that even though we sometimes sin and act like them, it is only an outward appearance. In truth, our hearts are always with Hashem.

(The Bnei Yissaschar)

Why is Purim named after the Persian word for lottery, “pur,” instead of its Hebrew counterpart “goral”? As a reminder of the great redemption from Egypt, the Torah begins the counting of the months from the month in which yetzias Mitzrayim occurred (see Shemos ch.12). Thus each month is called after its number place in the calendar counting from then (i.e. “The First Month,” “The Second Month,” etc…). However, when Bnei Yisrael returned from the Babylonian exile to build the second Beis HaMikdash, they brought with them the Babylonian names for the months (i.e. “Nissan,” “Iyar,” Sivan,” etc.), and we use these names to this day. The Ramban (Shemos 12:2) explains that just as the numerical names for the months were used to remind us of yetzias Mitzrayim, so too were the Babylonian names retained to serve as a permanent reminder of Hashem’s great redemption of Bnei Yisrael from the Babylonian exile. Following through on this idea, the Persian name “Purim” is used as a permanent reminder of the great miracle of Purim that Hashem wrought for us when we were in the exile of Persia-Media, and serves to publicize it as well.

(The Chasam Sofer)

What exactly does Taanis Esther commemorate, and why is it named after Esther? The fast commemorates the fasting Bnei Yisrael undertook before going to battle with their enemies on the 13th of Adar (see Mishna Berurah 686:2(2)). When Am Yisrael heads into battle, they do not rely on their physical might, nor the strength of their weaponry. Instead, they know that their lives and success are in the hands of Hashem, and as such, always fast and appeal to Hashem to grant them mercy and success. However, halachah teaches (Orach Chaim 571:3) that when one actually goes out to battle his enemies, he is forbidden to fast for fear his strength will weaken. Therefore, Bnei Yisrael were forbidden to fast when they were actually engaged in fighting on the 13th of Adar. However, Esther did fast on that day because she was protected in the confines of the palace, and did not have to go out to battle. Since she was the only person able to fast for the Jews while they did battle, the day is named after her.

(Likutei Sichos)

How does Hashem’s Name actually appear in the Megillah numerous times? The story of Megillas Esther is one in which Hashem’s hand is revealed to be manipulating all of the events – from behind the scenes – to bring about the salvation. This fact is alluded to by the Megillah in that Hashem’s Name does not explicitly appear in the text even once, yet it does appear, many times, hidden within the text – in the form of roshei teivos, first letters of words, sofei teivos, last letters of words, and gematrias. One example can be found when Esther invites Achashveirosh and Haman to the first party. There, Hashem’s Name appears in roshei teivos as follows: יָבוֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהָמָן הַיּוֹם – Let the King and Haman come [to the party] today (Esther5:4), indicating that Hashem influenced these events.

(The Rokeach)

Why did the miracle occur through Esther, an orphan? The story of Purim occurred during the period of time following the destruction of the first Beis HaMikdash. Exiled from Eretz Yisrael and suffering at the hands of other nations, Bnei Yisrael felt as if Hashem had, chas v’shalom abandoned them, saying “יְתוֹמִים הָיִינוּ וְאֵין אָב-we became orphans without a father” (Eicha 5:3). Hashem responded by bringing the salvation through an orphan to show that He is in fact the father of orphans, and had not, and will not ever, abandon Bnei Yisrael. The message to all generations is that we should never feel like orphans, because we always have our Father in Heaven.

(Esther Rabbah 6:7)  

Why, at a minimum, must one give mishloach manos to one person and matanos l’evyonim to two people? One of the main themes of Purim is the fostering of friendship, unity, and love amongst Bnei Yisrael, because the Purim salvation came about when we joined together in repentance following Haman’s evil decree. The death sentence was significantly the result of our lack of unity, as evidenced by Haman’s accusations to Achashveirosh: “יֶשְׁנוֹ עַם-אֶחָד מְפֻזָּר וּמְפֹרָד-there is one nation [the Jews] that is splintered and scattered” (Esther 3:8). On Purim, we want to attain total achdus, unity, within Klal Yisrael, and the mitzvos of mishloach manos and matanos l’evyonim address how to foster such unity. A person receiving a gift, when he is the only one receiving that gift, will feel much more special and loved than if the gift was given to others as well. This is how giving only one person mishloach manos fosters achdus. On the other hand, those people receiving matanos l’evyonimare just happy to receive the gift altogether. Their happiness is not diminished if many others receive the same gift as well.

(HaRav Shimshon Dovid Pinkus)

These are excerpts from the sefer Inside Purim, which contains additional answers to the above questions and much more. With haskamos from HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky, Harav Shlomo Eliyahu Miller, HaRav Noach Isaac Oelbaum, and HaRav Yisrael Reisman,, Inside Purim contains a collection of over 200 fascinating divrei Torah in a short, quick pick-up, and easy to read and remember format, and is a great place to find an exciting Purim vort to say over to family and friends. Inside Purim has been published in both English and French, and is available at Jewish Bookstores, and at www.feldheim.com. To contact the author, email: aps1216@yahoo.com.

Share Button

About the Author: To contact the author, email: aps1216@yahoo.com.


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.

No Responses to “Inside Purim: Insights On Purim And The Megillah”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Aryeh Pinchas Strickoff
book-inside-purim

These are excerpts from the sefer “Inside Purim” which contains additional answers to the following questions and much more.

book-inside-purim

These are excerpts from the sefer Inside Purim, which contains additional answers to the following questions and much more.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/judaism-101/inside-purim-insights-on-purim-and-the-megillah/2012/02/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: