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Jewish Holidays

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.

Megillat Esther Part 1: Introduction

March 10, 2016, by

The Gemara says that in the future, all the books in Tanach will be “batel” except the 5 books of the Torah and Esther. What is so significant about the megillah? For part 2 click here. For part 3 click here. For part 4 click here. For part 5 click here.

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