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Jewish Holidays

Esther: The Everlasting Experience

September 9, 2016, by

Purim is unique among the holidays, for, as Chazal tell us, while all the other holidays will be nullified after the arrival of Moshiach, Purim (and according to some Yom Kippur as well) will continue to be celebrated. Yet Purim is not even a Biblical holiday. Why does it deserve this unique designation? The idea […]

Purim: V’nahafoch Hu

March 18, 2016, by

The underlying meaning of v’nahafoch hu is that what initially is perceived as a cause is really an effect, and what seems to be an effect is really the cause. Haman was hanged on the 17th day of Nissan (see Rashi on Megillas Esther 4:17).  Yet, Mordechai waited until the 23rd of Sivan to send […]

Distinguishing Good From Evil, Blessing From Curse

March 16, 2016, by

Rava said, It is one’s duty levasumei, to make oneself fragrant [with wine] on Purim until one cannot tell the difference between ‘arur Haman’ (cursed be Haman) and ‘baruch Mordechai’ (blessed be Mordechai) – Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 7b Over the centuries, the “duty” to make oneself “fragrant” (read, drunk) on Purim has represented the great example […]

Megillat Esther Part 4: Gather All The Jews

March 10, 2016, by

Both steps in the process of the Jews’ defeating Haman involved them gathering together: they gathered as one to pray for salvation and to wage war. Why the emphasis on gathering? For part 1 click here. For part 2 click here. For part 3 click here. For part 5 click here.

Megillat Esther Part 3: V’Nahafoch Hu

March 10, 2016, by

The whole theme of Purim is everything being turned upside down (v’nahafoch hu). It’s not that Haman wasn’t wrong in assessing Adar as a good month for his scheme. For part 1 click here. For part 2 click here. For part 4 click here. For part 5 click here.

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