web analytics
July 8, 2015 / 21 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Purim And The Joy Of Life

The-Shmuz

To the Jews there was light, happiness, joy and honor.”Esther 8:16

Rav Yehudah said, light is Torah, happiness is yom tov, joy is milah, and honor is tefillinMegillah 16b

 

In the eighth year of Achashveirosh’s rule, on the thirteenth of Adar, every Jewish man, woman and child was to be slaughtered. Young or old, wealthy or poor, they were counted as one, and on that fateful day the Jewish people would cease to be. According to the ways of the world, and according to the natural course of events, that is what should have happened.

But it didn’t. In the greatest reversal of fortune, the tables were turned and the Jews were saved. In a heartbeat, they went from death to life, from despondency to hope, from being sheep led to the slaughter to having Mordechai HaTzaddik paraded through the streets of Shushan. The people had lived through an astonishing miracle, and they experienced great joy. “And the Jews of Shushan were jubilant and celebrated.”

Yet, when the Gemara describes their elation, it seems to leave out the issue of life and death. Where the megillah says, “To the Jews there was light, happiness, joy and elation,” Chazal interpret it to mean, “The Jews had Torah, yom tov, milah and tefillin,” as if to say the reason the Jews were celebrating was because they again had the opportunity to do these mitzvahs. The issue of their being granted their lives doesn’t seem to weigh into the equation; it as if the Gemara is saying that their entire celebration and their source of joy was that they were now again able to perform these mitzvahs.

This is very difficult to understand. Granted, these might be additional reasons to celebrate, but isn’t life a much greater reason? They were going to die, and Hashem saved them. Isn’t that the greatest cause for celebration and giving thanks to Hashem?

To understand this, let’s fast forward to a modern-day rags to riches story.

Born in 1933, Sheldon Adelson was the son of Ukrainian immigrants. His father drove a taxi and his mother ran a knitting shop. He grew up in one of the poorest sections of Boston. But even as a young boy he showed great ambition, first selling newspapers on the street corner, and then running his first business at the age of twelve. He went on to build over fifty businesses, eventually owning the Venetian Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He became a very wealthy man.

But funny thing happened to Sheldon Adelson in 2003 when he took the Sands Corporation public. The stock skyrocketed, and his assets went from 1.4 billion dollars to 20 billion dollars in a year and a half. Forbes Magazine estimates that during this time his wealth increased at the rate of a million dollars an hour.

A million dollars an hour is a tidy sum of money. To illustrate what that means, imagine that during this time he sat down to a nice leisurely lunch. When he got up and walked away, he was a million dollars richer. Or if he went for a dip in the pool, by the time he had dried his hair, he was seven hundred fifty thousand dollars wealthier. If he took a nice Shabbos nap, by the time he woke up another three million dollars were in his coffers.

Extremely wealthy people describe getting rich as exhilarating – almost intoxicating. It seems that having wealth is nowhere near as much fun as acquiring it. And here this man was gaining wealth at a dizzying pace. It is difficult to imagine the sense of excitement he must have felt.

The Answer

This seems to be the answer to the Gemara. When the Jews of Shushan were saved, they saw Hashem taking care of them, orchestrating events, running the world. They saw behind the veil of physicality and recognized their Creator. But more than just seeing Hashem, this experience changed their understanding of life.

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of the Shmuz.com – The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at the www.theShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


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.

2 Responses to “Purim And The Joy Of Life”

  1. Tarek Saba says:

    Sheldon adelson is a crook like rest of the zionist occupiers

  2. Tarek Saba is there anything you people like? Yall are just angry at the world and full of hate. We pray for you anyway. So you’re welcome, bitch.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
jstreet-time
Obama Officials Tout J Street Polls for Jewish Support on Iran Deal
Latest Judaism Stories
17th_of_Tammuz_(medium)_(english)

17th of Tammuz: Beginning 3 weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

With Ruth, The Torah seems to be stating that children shouldn’t be punished for the sins of parents

Neihaus-070315

Without a foundation, one cannot hope to build a structure.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Why do we have a parsha in Sefer Shemos named after Yisro who was not only a former idolater, but actually served as a priest for Avodah Zarah!

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Attempts to interpret the message of Hashem in the absence of divine prophecy ultimately may twist that message in unintended ways that can lead to calamitous events.

Suddenly, the pilot’s voice could be heard. He explained that this was a special day for those passengers on board who lived in Israel.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

All agree that Jews ARE different. How? Why? The Bible’s answer is surprising and profound.

What’s the nation of Israel’s purpose in the world? How we can bring God’s blessings into the world?

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
Shmuz-logo-NEW

We are affected by our environment. Our perspective on the world is affected by what those around us do.

Shmuz-logo-NEW

It is the right amount of the right middah in the right time that is the key to perfection. Each middah has its place, time, and correct measure.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall reprove your fellow and do not bear a sin because of him.” – Vayikra 19:17   When the Torah mentions the obligation to rebuke a fellow Jew, it ends with the words “and do not carry a sin because of him.” The Targum translates […]

The answer to this question is based on one of the greatest shortcomings of man – self-limiting beliefs.

When Chazal call not eating treif food a chok, that refers to how it functions.

And the farmer can’t help but feel a sense of pride. After all, it was his wisdom that led him to choose corn, not like that fool of a guy next door who planted wheat.

So what type of praise is it that Aaron followed orders?

If my garment is clean, then I will be careful about maintaining its beauty. If it is soiled, I will not be as careful.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/purim-and-the-joy-of-life-2/2014/03/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: