VaYigdal Moshe on Purim

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זכור את אשר עשה לך עמלק כה:יז

Numerous times, the word machar (tomorrow) is mentioned in the context of mechiyas Amaleik (wiping out Amaleik). In parshas Beshalach – the very first time there is a confrontation with Amaleik – Moshe says to Yehoshua, “v’tzei hilacheim ba’Amaleik machar anochi nitzav al rosh ha’givah, go out and wage war against Amalek tomorrow…”. In Megillas Esther, when Esther is attempting to set up the downfall of Haman, she says, “yavoh ha’melech v’Haman el ha’mishteh asher eh’eseh lahem u’machar eh’eseh k’dvar ha’melech, the king and Haman should come to the party…tomorrow…”.  She had already made one mishteh, but apparently she needed a mishteh that would be machar in order to clinch Haman’s downfall. Even when Haman tells his family about the party that was and the one that would be, the way he says it is, “af lo heiviah Esther ha’malka im ha’melech el ha’mishteh asher asasah ki im osi, v’gam l’machar ani karu lah im ha’melech, Esther brought no one other than me with the king to the party that she made, and even tomorrow I am invited by her with the king.” Upon the final defeat of Amaleik in the neis of Purim, the word machar appears again.  Achashveirosh asks Esther what has been done so far and if she has any further request. She answers with the words, “im al ha’melech tov yinasein gam machar la’Yehudim asher b’Shushan la’asos k’das ha’yom v’es aseres bnei Haman yislu al ha’eitz, if it is ok with the king let tomorrow also be given to the Jews in Shushan to act as they did today…”.  Even though the Yidden everywhere had wrought a massive destruction over Amaleik on the 13th of Adar, Esther determined that for the victory to be complete, they needed a machar.

The concept of machar stands at the foundation of Amaleik’s power of scorn. When there is an inner push to do something good or to make some type of improvement, this negative force comes along and pulls out the rug from the whole momentum by saying, “Ah, you’ll do it tomorrow!” What we can learn from Amaleik, though, about the efficacy of this tactic so that we can apply it for good.  For example, if you are learning and something comes along that you feel like doing that would pull you away from the Gemara, say to yourself, “Ah, I’ll do it tomorrow!” This is the secret of the emphasis on machar in the war against Amaleik waged by Moshe Rabbeinu and Yehoshua, and by the defeat of Amaleik in the miracle of Purim.  Klal Yisrael seizes this power of “machar” from Amaleik and uses it against them to clinch their downfall by applying it for good.

(From the recollections of the editor)

The Pachad Yitzchak emphasizes, based on the Maharal, another angle of machar – that the downfall of Amaleik is something that is necessarily machar, meaning outside of the structure of “today”. This can be understood by another statement of the Maharal that the whole reality of Geulah, the ultimate redemption, is something that transcends time as we know it. So, for example, the redemption from Mitzrayim was ba’chatzos ha’laylah (midnight). Really, explains Rav Yisrael Elya Weintraub zt”l, there is no actual point of chatzos laylah. It is a concept that transcends the current concept of time. Likewise, the redemption from Mitzrayim was b’chipazon (in haste). Matzah is also baked in a very hurried, rushed manner. This all emphasizes that the redemption from Mitzrayim transcended the general concept of the boundaries of time. It is fascinating to note that in Shmoneh Esrei, the word meheirah (quickly) only appears in the context of the brachos that have to do with redemption. And when it comes to the bracha of V’la’malshinim, the word meheirah appears three times. The explanation is that the word meheirah in the context of Shmoneh Esrei is not being employed in the sense of “quickly, right away”; for, if that were the case, why wouldn’t we ask for knowledge and healing “quickly, right away”?! Rather, what meheirah in the Shmoneh Esrei context means is in a manner that transcends the normal standard of time-boundaries. The eradication of evil – which is what the brachah of V’la’malshinim is all about – is primarily dependent on wiping out Amaleik. As stated, the downfall of Amaleik can only occur “machar” – in a manner of time-transcendence. That is why we reiterate and re-emphasize in this bracha the word meheirah. We are asking that this time-transcendent defeat of Amaleik come to fruition.

(Adapted from Maamarei Purim)


Just because you already made a kabbla (resolution) once doesn’t mean that you can’t make it again.


My father was always very against smoking. When I was a young boy, he would repeatedly warn me, prior to Purim, that although I may see some children smoking cigarettes on Purim, I was absolutely forbidden from doing such a thing. One time I asked him about a fake cigarette that was filled with flour. “Can I pretend smoke with such a thing?” I asked my father. He answered me as follows: “Essentially, it’s ok. But, I don’t think it’s worth it for you to do it. Because if I see you with something that looks like a cigarette in your mouth, if I think even for a moment that it is actually a real cigarette, I will punish you immediately without any hesitation!” Suffice it to say that I got the point loud and clear. I recall another example of his extremely negative attitude towards smoking. Not so long ago, an adult relative mentioned in the course of a conversation that, once, as a teenager, he had experimented with cigarettes and had smoked half of a cigarette. Even though that was the sum total of this relative’s entire experience with cigarettes, my father nevertheless expressed extreme incredulity at this revelation. (Reb Avrohom Twersky)

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