Purim — The Consequence of Not Living in Israel

 

“כי בחר ה’ בציון, אוה למושב לו”                               

Zerubavel was the Moshiach who tried to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash.  However, he failed because the Jewish Nation refused to make aliyah to Israel.  Instead of serving  G-d in Yerushalayim, the capital of Israel; the Sanhedrin found itself in Shushan, the capital of Persia (Iran).  This irony is apparent at the beginning of Megilas Esther.

Achashveirosh had a party celebrating the end of the Jewish desire to make aliyah and to celebrate the fact that they enjoyed living in Chutz La’aretz.  He even degraded the vessels of the Beis Hamikdash, to show that the Jewish Temple would never be rebuilt. Despite all this, the Jews participated in the party.  According to one opinion, the party was also celebrated by the Jews on the Holy day of Yom Kippur itself.  The Achashveirosh farewell to Israel party, made the Jewish nation  deserving of annihilation.

It took two individuals to change the minds of all the Rabbis and the Jewish people.  Mordechai and Esther, who were from the tribe of Binyamin and represented the Beis Hamikdash and Eretz Yisrael.  Mordechai demonstrated his love for Eretz Yisrael by showing off the t’cheles of his tzitzis.  Blue reminds us of the Royal Throne of G-d.  Eretz Yisrael is the body of the shechina itself (Rav Volli) and thus reminds us of G-d by contemplating the Land of Israel.  The blue t’cheles also, reminds us not to repeat the sin of the Spies who rejected aliyah to the Land of Israel.  The blue dye comes from the chilazon snail (Murex trunculus) which is found in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Eretz Yisrael.

מגילת אסתר ח:טו

ומרדכי יצא מלפני המלך בלבוש מלכות תכלת וחור ועטרת זהב גדולה ותכריך בוץ וארגמן, והעיר שושן צהלה ושמחה:

Mordechai left the king’s presence clad in royal apparel of blue and white with a large gold crown and a robe of fine linen and purple; then the city of Shushan was cheerful and glad.

במדבר יג:כא, פרשת שלח

ויעלו ויתרו את הארץ, ממדבר צן עד רחב לבא חמת:

They [the Meraglim spies] ascended and spied out the Land, from the wilderness of Zin to the expanse at the approach to Chamas. (Bamidbar 13:21)

במדבר יד:לג, פרשת שלח

ובניכם יהיו רעים במדבר ארבעים שנה ונשאו את זנותיכם, עד תם פגריכם במדבר:

Your children will roam the desert for forty years and bear your guilt, until the last of your carcasses in the desert. (Bamidbar 14:33)

במדבר טו:לח-לט, פרשת שלח – תפילת שמע

דבר אל בני ישראל…ונתנו על ציצית פתיל תכלת: והיה לכם לציצית וראיתם אותו וזכרתם…ולא תתורו אחרי לבבכם ואחרי עיניכם אשר אתם זנים אחריהם:

Speak to the Children of Yisrael…and they shall place upon the tzitzis a thread of blue wool. It shall constitute tzitzis for you, that you may see it and remember…and not explore after your heart and after your eyes after which you stray. (Bamidbar 15:38-39)

Why do we get Intoxicated on Purim?

Chazal say to be happy on Purim by drinking wine. This is one way to get high or “to go up” i.e.  make aliyah.

שולחן ערוך, אורח חיים,תרצה:ב

חייב איניש לבסומי בפוריא עד דלא ידע ארור המן לברוך מרדכי: הגה ויש אומרים דאין  להשתכר כל כך אלא ישתה יותר מלימודו וישן ומתוך שישן אונו יודע…

A person is obligated to become intoxicated on Purim, the extent that he will not be aware of the difference between “Cursed be Haman”, and “Blessed be Mordechai”.  Rema: There are authorities who say that one does not need to become as drunk as that, but he should merely drink more than he is used to drink and sleep and being asleep he will not be aware… (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, 695:2)

On Purim everyone receives a greater power of tefillah. The day should be reserved for sincere prayers and not frivolous requests. That’s why Chazal decreed that people should be distracted by the drinking. (Chidushei HaRim)

On Purim all requests can be fulfilled! The power of prayer on Purim is לאמר למלך , to tell the king his requests; and G-d will fulfill them (ShemMishmuel).  Purim is a very short day with a lot to accomplish.  We need to remember, when we are sober, to make efficient use of the time and daven for our meaningful needs.

:מזמור שיר חנכת הבית לדוד Has References to Mordechai and Haman

Tehillim #30 was compiled by Dovid Hamelech.  However, several of the p’sukim were also composed by different people including: Mordechai Ha’tzadik, students of Mordechai,  Haman Ha’rasha and Queen Esther.  This prayer was revealed during moments of ruach hakodesh that they all received at that time. (Midrash)

Haman told Mordechai to get dressed in Royal clothes.  Haman lamented out loud that he was preparing the gallows to Hang Mordechai and now he must rather prepare him for riding the King’s Horse.  When Mordechai was riding on the horse, he uttered the following prayer:

תהילים ל:ב-ג

ארוממך ה’ כי דליתני, ולא שמחת איבי לי. ה’  אלקי, שועתי אליך ותרפאני.

I will exult you Hashem for You have raised me up, and you did not allow my enemies to rejoice over me.  Hashem my G-d, I shouted to you and you healed me. Tehillim 30:2-3)

When Haman was leading Mordechai who was sitting on the horse of Achashveirosh, he lamented the loss of his victory over his Jewish nemesis.

תהילים ל:ז-ח

ואני אמרתי בשלוי, בל אמוט לעולם . ה’,ברצונך העמדתה להררי עז, הסתרת פניך הייתי נבהל.

When things were tranquil, I said that I would never fall. But now I realize it was Your will that made me mighty. When You concealed Your face I was frightened. (Tehillim 30: 7-8)

Haman was rewarded for this one moment of tzedek.  Haman’s descendent converted to Judaism and became a Rabbi who taught Torah to Jews in Bnei Brak!  We learn from this that if Haman’s good deed was rewarded, how much more so are all of our mitzvos rewarded.

The Parties of Esther Demonstrated To Us How To Properly Use the Tactics of Tefillah and Simcha

Queen Esther taught us how to gain trust in G-d, bitachon. Acceptance of any situation with Joy, emunah  and bitachon  can accomplished more than tefilos. If one is happy despite the tzaros , because one believes that everything is from G-d, then one can accomplish more than he could with his tefilos.  She taught us that a person can be happy during difficult times by sincerely believing that everything is for the good.

שו”ע או”ח רכב:ג

חייב אדם לברך על הרעה בדעת שלמה ובנפש חפצה כדרך שמברך בשמחה על הטובה כי הרעה לעובדי השם היא שמחתם וטובתם כיון שמקבל מאהבה מה שגזר עליו השם נמצא שבקבלת רעה זו הוא עובד את השם שהיא שמחה לו:

One is obliged to make a blessing for the bad wholeheartedly and willingly, in the same way as he makes a blessing happily for the good. This is because, for those who worship Hashem, the bad is a joy and an advantage to them, since, in view of the fact that they accept it with love what Hashem has decreed for them, it turns out that by accepting the bad they serve G-d, and they have pleasure from this. (Shulchan Aruch, Ohr Hachayim 222:3)

משנה ברורה רכב:ד

כי באמת כל היסורין בין בגוף ובין בממון הוא הכל כפרה על העונות כדי שלא יצטרך להתיסר לע”ל ששם העונש הוא הרבה יותר גדול…

Truthfully, all suffering, whether bodily or monetary, serves as an atonement for sins, so that one will not have to suffer in olam Habah, where the punishment is much more severe…(Mishna Berura 222:4)

The first party Esther did not reveal her identity to Achashveirosh because she noticed that Haman was in a good mood.  She was not able to defeat Haman while he was in a state of simcha.  After the first Esther party, Achashveirosh went home to sleep, but he had insomnia.  At that point he remembered to reward Mordechai and ordered Haman to Parade Mordechai through the streets of Shushan. During that parade Haman’s daughter, Shaknehaz, errantly threw excrement from a chamber pot onto Haman, her father.  Once she realized her error she jumped out of the window of her house and committed suicide in front of Haman.  After this parade was over, the depressed foul smelling Haman was rushed by the king’s guards to Esther’s second party.  Now that Esther encountered a depressed Haman she was able to reveal her secret identity to the king and get rid of Haman once and for all.

Miracles versus Nature

The Chasom Sofer points out that one episode of suffering can accomplish more than many prayers,.סבלון אחד עושה יותר מכמה תפלות Purim teaches us to approach even material matters in a spiritual way. We live in an impure world, however, we must remember that at all times to have our hearts connected to G-d.  Throughout Megillas Purim we see that the G-d intervenes for our benefit using the laws of “nature”.

The Talmud teaches that the Megilla can be read on the 11th, 12th,  13th, 14th, or  15th of Adar.  No more and no less.  From this we learn that G-d performs miracles via natural or supernatural means.

            תלמוד בבלי, מגילה ל עמוד א

מגילה נקראת בי”א בי”ב בי”ג בי”ד בט”ו לא פחות ולא יותר

The Megillah is read on the eleventh of Adar, or on the twelfth, or on the thirteenth, or on the fourteenth, or on the fifteenth, no earlier than the eleventh or later than the fifteenth. (Talmud Bavli, Megillah 2a)

When the following numbers are tallied we get: 11+12+13+13+15 = 65, which is the same gematria of א-ד-ו-נ-י. This name of G-d represents when G-d chooses to perform miracles within the laws of nature.

We are also taught that Purim is not celebrated on the 10th or 16th of Adar.  The numbers 10+16 = 26, which is equal to the tetragramaton Name of G-d י-ה-ו-ה = 26.  G-d uses this name when He performs revealed miracles, like was seen in yitziyas mitzrayim. (Bris Kehunas Olam)

Haman Is Responsible For Teaching Us to Be Happy During the Month of Adar

We are taught to increase our joy starting on Rosh Chodesh Adar.

תלמוד בבלי תענית דף כט עמוד א

אמר רב יהודה בריה דרב שמואל בר שילת משמיה דרב. כשם שמשנכנס אב ממעטין בשמחה כך משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה.

Rav Yehuda the son of Rav Shmuel bar Shilas said in the name of Rav: Just as when Av begins we limit joy, so too when Adar begins we increase joy. (Talmud Bavli, Taanis 29a)

A grandchild of Haman taught Torah in Bnei brak. What was his name?

תלמוד בבלי סנהדרין דף צו עמוד ב

תנו רבנן…מבני בניו של המן למדו תורה בבני ברק.

It was taught in a Baraisa…Descendants of  Haman taught Torah in Bnei Brak. (Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 96b)

The Ein Yaakov writes that the name of this descendant of Haman who taught Torah in Bnei Brak is – Rav Shmuel  bar Shilas!  From here we learn that the descendant of Haman was the Rabbi who taught us to be happy during the month of Adar!

Do We Get Rewarded For Certain Mitzvos In This World?

There is a principal taught that we do not get rewards for mitzvos done in this world, שכר מצוה בהאי עלמא ליכא .  The ultimate reward is to be received after death in the world to come.  However, there is an exception to this rule.  The reward for the שמחה של מצוה, the joy of the mitzvah, is given in this world.

Why is this?  For when we perform a mitzvah , G-d is rejoicing with us.  The greatest joy is to be alive in order to perform mitzvos.  The ikar  of the mitzvah of Purim and the entire month of Adar is to serve G-d with joy.  Just as Yom Kippur can give absolution of our sins from the past year, Purim gives us the ability to be rewarded the entire year by performing mitzvos with sincere joy.  When we learn from the Purim story that all the bad and the good comes from G-d, since he is in charge, we have the strength to serve Him and perform his commandments with a new invigoration of happiness and Joy.

Amalek Is The Source Of Sadness, Worry and Doubt

Nowadays Amalek is not necessarily a group of people. It can manifest as an attitude or a set of ideas.  Amalek wants people to feel lowly and unworthy, ויזנב לך כל הנחשלים אחריך , he attacked the  weak; they were weak because of their sins.

Amalek causes people to forget. Therefore we erase the memory of Amalek.  By doing this action we are trying to remember who we are.  Who are we? We are the Jewish people who are beloved to G-d.  For this reason alone there is no reason to worry. Worries don’t exist when a Jew has emunah. We erase Amalek by reminding ourselves not to complain.  We need to remember that G-d is in charge and taking care of our lives.

Hardships ,ניסיונות ,  force us to focus on the good  in our lives  and work on being happy.  By connecting with G-d we can achieve the greatest simcha.  The best place to connect with G-d is in Eretz Yisrael.  That is why Amalek attacked us when we came out of Egypt on our way to the Land of Israel.

Unfortunately, human nature is that when times are good people tend for forget Hashem.  He therefore gives us challenges in life, nisyonos or yesurim, to help us focus on G-d via our thoughts and prayers.  We are happy in the month of Adar for we are more aware in this season that G-d is with us.  Even today in our present situation, not just a long time ago during the era of the Purim Story in Shushan.

The main lesson for us to learn on Purim is that life seems to be ordinary and natural.  However, we also recognize that G-d is in charge of all the details in our lives.  Nothing is by chance, as claimed by Haman and Amalek; all is planned by G-d. This is the reason that a Jew acquires the laws of the place the person happens to be, in terms of the megilla reading. Nothing is by chance.

How Did Haman Know Via the Goral/Pur That He would be successful?

Haman used a method of throwing three dice and evaluating the numbers that were visualized on top.  With every throw the same numbers appeared over and over again: 3-3-1, 3-3-1, and 3-3-1.  He was ecstatic because these numbers spelled out the letters א-ג-ג based on gematria.  This demonstrated to him that he would be on top or victorious.  When using six sided dice the corresponding numbers on the bottom are 4-6-4, 4-6-4, 4-6-4, which spells ד-ו-ד. This further convinced him that Agag, the kingdom of Amalek, will be victorious over the Jewish Kingdom of Dovid. (Yalkut Me’am Loez)

Can Amalek Convert To Judaism?

According to the Mechilta (Parshas Beshalach) the answer is, no.  But we know this cannot be accurate because the Gemarah teaches us that Haman had Jewish descendants who taught Torah.

תלמוד בבלי גיטין נז עמוד ב

תנא…מבני בניו של המן למדו תורה בבני ברק

A Tanna taught in a Baraisa…Descendants of Haman taught Torah in Bnei Brak. (Talmud Bavli, Gittin, 57b)

The Rambam does not mention that Amalek can not convert.

רמב”ם משנה תורה הילכות איסורי ביאה

כל העכו”ם כולם כשיתגיירו ויקבלו עליהן כל המצות שבתורה והעבדים כשישתחררו הרי הן כישראל לכל דבר…חוץ מד’ עממין בלבד והם עמון ומואב ומצרים ואדום שהאומות האלו כשיתגייר אחד מהן הרי הוא כישראל לכל דבר אלא לענין ביאה בקהל:

Whenever any of the gentiles convert and accept all of the mitzvot in the Torah or a servant is freed, they are considered as Jews with regard to all matters…There are four nations from which [converts] are exceptions: Ammon, Moab, Egypt, and Edom. When a person from one of these nations converts, he is like an Israelite with regard to all matters with the exception of marriage within the Jewish community. (Rambam, Mishne Torah, Issurei Biya, 12:17)

In Rambam hilchos Melachim, he teaches that before waging a war, the Jewish Nation must offer the enemy the opportunity to repent and accept the seven  mitzvos of Noach.  This applies even to a war with Amalek.

רמב”ם משנה תורה הלכות מלכים ומלחמות ו:א,ד

אין עושין מלחמה עם אדם בעולם עד שקוראין לו שלום אחד מלחמת הרשות ואחד מלחמת מצוה שנאמר כי תקרב אל עיר להלחם עליה וקראת אליה לשלום אם השלימו וקבלו שבע מצות שנצטוו בני נח עליהן אין הורגין מהן נשמה והרי הן למס…והעבדות שיקבלו הוא שיהיו נבזים ושפלים למטה ולא ירימו ראש בישראל אלא יהיו כבושים תחת ידם ולא יתמנו על ישראל לשום דבר שבעולם והמס שיקבלו שיהיו מוכנים לעבודת המלך בגופם וממונם…

ואם לא השלימו או שהשלימו ולא קבלו שבע מצות עושין עמהם מלחמה והורגין כל הזכרים הגדולים ובוזזין כל ממונם וטפם ואין הורגין אשה ולא קטן… אמורים במלחמת הרשות שהוא עם שאר האומות אבל שבעה עממין ועמלק שלא השלימו אין מניחין מהם נשמה שנאמר כן תעשה לכל וגו’ רק מערי העמים לא תחיה כל נשמה וכן הוא אומר בעמלק תמחה את זכר עמלק...

War, neither a milchemet hareshut or a milchemet mitzvah, should not be waged against anyone until they are offered the opportunity of peace… If the enemy accepts the offer of peace and commits itself to the fulfillment of the seven mitzvot that were commanded to Noah‘s descendents, none of them should be killed. Rather, they should be subjugated…The subjugation they must accept consists of being on a lower level, scorned and humble. They must never raise their heads against Israel, but must remain subjugated under their rule. They may never be appointed over a Jew in any matter whatsoever. The tribute they must accept consists of being prepared to support the king’s service with their money and with their persons…

If they do not agree to a peaceful settlement, or if they agree to a peaceful settlement, but refuse to accept the seven mitzvot, war should be waged against them. All males past majority should be killed. Their money and their children should be taken as spoil…The above applies to a milchemet hareshut fought with other nations. However, if either the seven nations or Amalek refuse to accept a peaceful settlement, not one soul of them may be left alive…in regard to Amalek, (Devarim 25:19) states: ‘Obliterate the memory of Amalek…’ (Rambam, Mishne Torah, Melachim uMilchamot 6:1, 4)

Rav Chaim Soleveitchick asks the question based upon the Rambam quoted above, “Can any person become part of Amalek?”  We know that all the nations are intermingled and there is no contemporary distinct Amalek nation.  This occurred after  Sancheiriv mixed up all the nations.

תלמוד בבלי ברכות כח עמוד א

כבר עלה סנחריב מלך אשור ובלבל את כל האומות.

Sancheiriv, King of Ashur, Long ago came up and exiled the nations he conquered and resettled them in different lands. (Talmud Bavli Berachos 28a)

The Rav deduces from this, that if someone behaves like Amalek, then they are Amalek, even if they are a Jew!

Where Did Amalek come From?

The sefer, The Bahir, traces his origin to the infamous snake in Gan Eden.  Interestingly, the snake impregnated Chava who subsequently gave birth to Kayin.  Thus began the evil spirit of Amalek from the snake נחש.

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 96b) tells us that Lotan’s sister was Timna.  She was a princes who wanted to convert to Judaism.  She went to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov and they all turned her down for conversion.  Instead of becoming Jewish she had to became a concubine of Elifaz the son of Esav.  From this union Amalek was born.  It seems that the Avos should not have rejected Timna.  For if she was converted to Judaism, than Amalek would never have been born.   Similarly, Yaakov hid Dina in a box to prevent her from getting married to Esav.  Dina could have been mikarev Esav and he would have then become the partner of Yaakov like Yisaachar and Zevulun.  Since that did not happen, Yaakov was punished by the episode where Shechem raped Dina.  Nonetheless,  Moshiach ben Yosef came from that union as a descendent of Dina from her daughter Osnat.  However, Esav was lost to the Jewish people and Amalek was subsequently created.

How do we wipe out Amalek?  We teach them Torah in Eretz Yisrael.  This corrects the injustice to Timna.  Even better, if the bnei Amalek become the ones teaching the Torah , like Rav Shmuel Bar  Shilas.   Rav Yitzchak Kook taught that  real tzadikim don’t complain about the evil Amalek. Instead they increase tzedek, chachma and emunah.

Parshas zachor we remember that Amalek was trying to prevent us from acquiring our inheritance נחלה of Eretz Yisrael.   Mordechai showed off his techeles tzitzis. He always pined for Eretz Yisrael and kept trying to return there. He was one of the authors of the Shmoneh Esrei prayer which is a formula for the final geula.  Mordechai HaTzadik was unfortunately, not accepted by all of his peers. Maybe this rejection  was in part, because he wanted all of the Persian Jews to make Aliyah?

Shushan Purim. Who Cares About Shushan?

Why do we have a special Purim day just for Yerushalayim (walled cities)?  We do not care about Shushan, but we care deeply about Yerushalyim the capital of Israel, called Tzion. G-d loves Tzion!

תהילים קלב:יג

            כִּי בָחַר יְהוָה בְּצִיּוֹן; אִוָּהּ, לְמוֹשָׁב לוֹ.

For G-d has chosen Zion, He has desired it, for His habitation (Tehilim 132:13)

ישעיה ב:ג

וְהָלְכוּ עַמִּים רַבִּים, וְאָמְרוּ לְכוּ וְנַעֲלֶה אֶל-הַר-יְהוָה אֶל-בֵּית אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב, וְיֹרֵנוּ מִדְּרָכָיו, וְנֵלְכָה בְּאֹרְחֹתָיו:  כִּי מִצִּיּוֹן תֵּצֵא תוֹרָה, וּדְבַר-יְהוָה מִירוּשָׁלִָם:

For out of Tzion the Torah will go forth, and the word of G-d from Yerushalyim (Yeshaya 2:3)

            תהילים קכח:ה

יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה, מִצִּיּוֹן,וּרְאֵה, בְּטוּב יְרוּשָׁלִָם כֹּל, יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ:

May G-d bless you from Tzion, and see the good of Yerushalyim, all the days of your life (Tehillim 128:5)

תהילים נ:ב

מִצִּיּוֹן מִכְלַל יֹפִי אֱלֹקים הוֹפִיעַ:

Out of Tzion, the perfection of beauty, G-d appeared (Tehillim 50:2)

תהילים נ:ג

            יִשְׁלַח עֶזְרְךָ מִקֹּדֶשׁ; וּמִצִּיּוֹן, יִסְעָדֶךָּ:

And from Tzion He will support you. (Tehillim 20:3)

תהילים יד:ז

מִי יִתֵּן מִצִּיּוֹן, יְשׁוּעַת יִשְׂרָאֵל:

O that Israel’s salvation would come out of Tzion (Tehillim 14:7)

It’s a shame that the Torah World today uses the word Zion or “ Zionist” as a pejorative, whereas G-d  loves Zion and uses that specific word for ultimate praise.  The Torah comes from Zion. Eicha laments no one mourns over Zion. Purim reminds us that our focus must be Zion, the place, Eretz Yisrael and its center Yerushalayim, בָחַר יְהוָה בְּצִיּוֹן; אִוָּהּ, לְמוֹשָׁב לוֹ כִּי.

Parshas Zachor – Reminds Us To Wipe Out Amalek, How?

Mordechai fought Amalek wearing his techeiles tzizis and won; so we need to remember the mistake the meraglim spies who rejected Israel and be proud to wear techeles.  Parshas Zachor teaches us that we must enter the land of Israel first, conquer and settle the land, used its resources to fight Amalek.  The meraglim disparaged the land as ארץ אוכלת יושביה , whereas we know in achdus living in the land is our strength.  Just as we can’t bring Moshiach until most of the Jews are first living in Eretz Yisrael. When we are actively  building up  Eretz Yisrael we are actually wiping out Amalek.  After we read parshas Zachor, we go to next parsha topic, Parshas Ki Savo:

דברים כו:א , כי תבוא

            וְהָיָה, כִּי תָבוֹא אֶל הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר ה’ אֱלֹקיךָ, נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה; וִירִשְׁתָּהּ, וְיָשַׁבְתָּ בָּהּ:

It will be when you enter the Land of Hashem, your G-d, gives you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it. (Devarim 26:1)

Mordechai was wearing Chur.  In the successful battle against Amalek Aharon and Chur held up Moshe’s hands. Amalek attacked the Jews on their way from Egypt to Israel.

שמות יז:י-טז, פרשת בשלח

וַיַּעַשׂ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, כַּאֲשֶׁר אָמַר לוֹ מֹשֶׁה לְהִלָּחֵם, בַּעֲמָלֵק; וּמֹשֶׁה אַהֲרֹן וְחוּר, עָלוּ רֹאשׁ הַגִּבְעָה:  וְהָיָה, כַּאֲשֶׁר יָרִים מֹשֶׁה יָדוֹ וְגָבַר יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְכַאֲשֶׁר יָנִיחַ יָדוֹ, וְגָבַר עֲמָלֵק:  וִידֵי מֹשֶׁה כְּבֵדִים, וַיִּקְחוּ אֶבֶן וַיָּשִׂימוּ תַחְתָּיו וַיֵּשֶׁב עָלֶיהָ; וְאַהֲרֹן וְחוּר תָּמְכוּ בְיָדָיו, מִזֶּה אֶחָד וּמִזֶּה אֶחָד, וַיְהִי יָדָיו אֱמוּנָה, עַד בֹּא הַשָּׁמֶשׁ…  וַיֹּאמֶר ה’ אֶל מֹשֶׁה, כְּתֹב זֹאת זִכָּרוֹן בַּסֵּפֶר, וְשִׂים, בְּאָזְנֵי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ:  כִּי מָחֹה אֶמְחֶה אֶת זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק, מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם.:  … וַיֹּאמֶר, כִּי יָד עַל כֵּס יָ-הּ, מִלְחָמָה לַה’, בַּעֲמָלֵק מִדֹּר, דֹּר:

And Yehoshua did as Moshe said to him, to do battle with Amalek; and Moshe and Aharon, and Chur ascended to the top of the hill:  It happened that when Moshe raised his hand Israel was stronger, and when he lowered his hand Amalek was stronger.  Moshe’s hands grew heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it, and Aharon and Chur supported his hands, one on this side and one on that side, and he remained with his hands in faithful prayer until sunset…and he said, “For the hand is on the throne of G-d: Hashem maintains a war against Amalek, from generation to generation” (Shemos 17:10-15)

מגילת אסתר ח:טו

ומרדכי יצא מלפני המלך בלבוש מלכות תכלת וחור ועטרת זהב גדולה ותכריך בוץ וארגמן, והעיר שושן צהלה ושמחה:

Mordechai left the king’s presence clad in royal apparel of blue and white with a large gold crown and a robe of fine linen and purple; then the city of Shushan was cheerful and glad. (Megilas Esther, 8:15)

The Missing Letters א-ו-ה to Combat Amalek – Tied to Israel

Parshas Bishalach concludes with the need to eradicated Amalek because they deplete the glory of G-d’s Throne כס י-ה.  There are three missing letters, אוה, which complete G-d’s revelation in this world, כסא י-ה-ו-ה .  Dovid Hamelech teaches us in Tehillim that G-d chooses Eretz Yisrael as the location for us to complete His name because He desires to be here in Zion.

Similarly, we pray with all our strength כח several times a day when we answer to Kadish, in order to destroy Amalek and thus make G-d’s name great. When we add the letters אוה to G-d’s name, we serve Him the chosen Land that He desires to dwell in, we say with full devotion especially in Eretz Yisrael, אמן, יהא שמיה רבא מברך לעלם ולעלמי עלמיא יתברך . Make His name great again! Fill in the אוה get rid of Amalek the descendent of Esav!

רבינו בחיי על התורה, שמות יז:טז, בשלח

ויאמר כי יד על כס י-ה…לא אמר, על כסא י-ה-וה , נשבע בקב”ה שאין הכסא שלם והשם שלם עד שינקם מזרעו של עמלק…הכסא חסר והשם חסר…נראה חסר שנראה כאלו אינו מתקיים הכל, ויש כח אחר זולתו חס ושלום, ועל כן חסר האל”ף מן הכסא…והוא”ו והה”א מן השם…אבל לימות המשיח…כי מחה אמחה את זכר עמלק, ואז יהיה השם והכסא על השלמות, שהרי שלש אותיות שהן אל”ף ה”א וא”ו הם תשלום הכסא והשם.  ועל זה אמר דוד ע”ה: כי בחר ה’ בציון אוה למושב לו, יאמר: לעתיד כשהקב”ה יבחר בציון אז ישב כסא שלם, וזה לשון “אוה” שהוא תשלום הכסא והשם…ועלו מושיעים בהר ציון לשפוט את הר עשו

Haman’s Gallows’ still standing?

The Einei HaEidah states, that Achashveirosh had Haman’s body hanging from the gallows for over one year.  Therefore, he commanded that an umbrella like cover should be placed over his body.  Today in the Persian town of Susa, near the actual remnants of Achashveiroshe’s palace , there is a huge cone structure.  The locals claim that this structure is the tomb of Daniel the prophet.   There are six reported locations claiming to be the grave of Doniel Hanavi.  It is very possible that this tomb in Susa may be both the tomb of Daniel and the cone structure that preserved Haman hanging on his gallows’.  After all, Haman murdered Hasach who was Daniel.

תלמוד בבלי מגילה טו עמוד א

אמר רב: התך זה דניאל.

Rav Said: The royal officer identified as Hasach was actually Daniel (Talmud Bavli, Megillah 15a)

The sefer Kol HaTor (perek beis)  tells us that Queen Esther in Tehillim (Chapter 22) , describes the geulah of Moshiach Ben Yosef. In  לַמְנַצֵּחַ, עַל אַיֶּלֶת הַשַּׁחַר, Esther begs G-d to save her from Haman – הצילה מחרב נפשי .

On Purim The Jewish Nation willingly accepted the Torah

At Mount Sinai G-d held the mountain over our heads and threatened us with annihilation if we did not accept the Torah; it was forced on us. Mount  Sinai  was placed over our heads like  a kippa. On Purim we accepted the Torah willingly, קימו מה שכבר קיבלו, without a kippa.  Maybe this is another reason we wear costumes.

The Secret of Haman’s Ears

Jews for centuries have eaten the treat called Haman Tashen, the hidden treat.  But the modern Hebrew language created another name for this food, אוזני המן , the ears of Haman.  Seems gross to celebrate human body parts, as another major religion tends to do on Sundays. How could we explain this in terms of Purim?

In reality, the food has nothing to do with Haman’s ears.  The food refers to the mon tash or hidden secret filling. Haman or Amalek is power of doubt and chance.  Amalek  takes emunah in G-d out of our thoughts.  This makes us fear our enemies, when there is in reality nothing to fear since our faith assures us that G-d is always watching over us for the best.  This month just before Rosh Chodesh Adar Iran attacked Israel on the  Golan Heights with a  drone and a IDF F16 was shot down over Syria.  Iran is the same Persian enemy that we defeated many years ago in the month same month of Adar; we are not afraid.

Month of Nissan celebrates obvious miracles, whereas,  Adar commemorates  hidden miracles.  During the month of Adar we appreciate that  all events occur under G-d’s influence בהשגחה . The month is symbolized by the mazal of the fish דגים. Fish live in water. Water represents the hidden or ניסתר .  The nistar is also called nature or טבע . The lesson of Adar is to see G-d in the daily mundane aspects of our  lives.  Certain events  just seem to happen מקרה by chance.  In reality, there is not chance, all occurs only by the will of G-d , which is .רק מה The same letters as chance rearranged means only from G-d (Vilna Gaon).  Haman/Amalek are big believers in chance and the גורל lottery, this is inspires doubt.  As Jews we rejects this concept with our faith in G-d which removes all doubt.

The work Amalek עמלק in gematria equals 240, the same numerical value as the word doubt ספק.  In kabala in the impure husks that we try to rid our souls from are called קליפות. Amalek is part of the undesired klipos as seen from the word עמל – ק , Amalek works on the קליפות.

Amalek is the strength of doubt in the ability of G-d run our lives and the world. Adar prepares us to receive G-d  in the, month of Nissan and to become His Chosen Nations. G-d’s name is not complete until we get rid of Amalek using the power of the letters א-ו-ה.  Alef א represents faith or אמונה , this ideas permeates this month, or lives in this month . א – דר  This is one way to defeat the doubt of Amalek.

א  – also represent the Master of the Universe אדון עולם , He lives in this month הוא דר of אדר. We need to find G-d in the hidden and the lowliest of places. This is a solution to all our troubles and problems. Build the relationship with G-d דביקות in His Palace, Eretz Yisrael, in His month אדר.

Amalek comes when we do not see G-d in our lives. That’s why Esther said, אלי אלי למה עזבתני? , G-d G-d Why have You forsaken me? . Rav Shimshon of Astropoli said this occurred to us because of מך ורש.  What does that mean?

We have an angel that watches over Israel. His name is מיכאל .  If we take out G-d’s name from his name, that is remove the lettersאלי , we are left with letters מך.   If we remove G-d אלי from ישראל then have the remaining letters רש.  In the Purim era we forgot about serving G-d in the Eretz Yisrael, this prevented our protection.  This gave power specifically to Amalek.  Esther davened for the Jews to return to our Father in Heaven and to return the אלי to מך to have the angelic help of מיכאל . She also prayed to return אלי to רש to forge our bond with ישראל . In this way ונהפוך הוא , everything is turned around and we must return to our G-d by serving him in Eretz Yisrael. That’s exactly what Mordechai and Esther accomplished by enabling the building of the second Beis Hamikdash.

Moshiach ben Yosef  is Connected to Israel

The Talmud (Megilla 16a) states that Yosef saw that in future Mordechai will go out in front of the king wearing five royal clothes (תכלת, חור, עטרת זהב גדולה, תכריך בוץ, ארגמן). For this reason Yosef  gave Binyamin five changes of clothing , which was more gifts than he gave the other brothers .

Yosef insisted that Binyamin come down to Egypt on their 2nd trip, because  this was a hint to the four redemptions גאולות of the Jewish Nation. Bavel, Madai, Greece, and Edom (בבל מדי יון אדום).  The second galus of Madai was represented by Binyamin; therefore Yosef wanted Binyamin to leave Israel from Egypt with the brothers on their second trip. Yosef knew Mordechai would be a descendant of Binyamin).

The first time the brothers left Israel for Egypt was when Yaakov saw that there was a famine in the land.  On the second trip they brought Binyamin down with them.  The third trip was when Yaakov himself went to Egypt with the wagons of Yosef.  The final fourth trip is when all the brothers  return to Egypt after burring their father Yaakov in Chevron. The  next trip out of Egypt was the Exodus and the miracle of Pesach.

Yosef never drank wine from the day his brothers sold him up until the actual moment he was reunited with his brother Binyamin.  Just as Yosef drank wine , we also drink wine on Purim.

The decree of Haman against the Jews was a punishment for the brother’s  selling Yosef into slavery.  The brothers sat and drank after they sold Yosef.  So too, Haman sat and drank.

According to the Chida, Mordechai and Esther are both descendants from Binyamin, the only brother who did not participate in sale of Yosef.  When we have arguments מחלוקת , G-d remembers the sale of Yosef and we get punished . We combat that strife with love and unity אחדות with the mitzvos of the day of Purim – mish loach manos and tzedaka.

When Yosef gave the five extra clothes to Binyamin, the brothers did not have any have jealousy.  This was a complete forgiveness תיקון for their previous bad trait if jealousy קנאה for Yosef.

In the book of  Bereishis, Yehuda tells Yaakov to let them take Binyamin down to Egypt as Yosef was requesting.   Yehuda guaranteed that he would take care of Binyamin.  Where do we see that Yehuda protected Binyamin?

Many years later, during the episode where King Dovid is running away from his son Avshalom, he is cursed by Shimi ben Geirah of the tribe of Binyamin. Shimi was worthy of death on the spot, however, King Dovid let him live at that moment.  For this protection of Dovid from the tribe of Yehuda, Mordechai איש ימיני from Binyamin the descendent of  Shimi ben Gaira  came to be. In the honor of Dovid giving him life, Mordechai was also known to be from the tribe of Yehuda, איש יהודי . Mordechai is from Binyamin on his father’s side and from Yehuda on his mother’s side.

This Purim let us  get rid of Amalek by settling and building Eretz Yisrael.  Let us Make G-d’s name complete by saying amen yehe sheme rabba with all our strength.  Get rid of all doubt, have complete emuna in Hashem and serve Him with true Simcha at all times.

ליהודים היתה אורה ושמחה

בְּטַח בַּיהוָה, וַעֲשֵׂה-טוֹב; שְׁכָן אֶרֶץ, וּרְעֵה אֱמוּנָה:

Trust in G-d and do good; dwell in the Land, and enjoy steady support (Tehilim 37:3)

בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר, אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַָּה’; וְהָיָה ה’, מִבְטַחוֹ:

Blessed is the man who trusts in G-d , who makes G-d his refuge (Yirmiyahu 17:7)

צַדִּיקִים יִירְשׁו אָרֶץ; וְיִשְׁכְּנוּ לָעַד עָלֶיהָ:

The righteous will inherit the Land and abide in it forever (Tehilim 37:29)

חג פורים שמח!

About the Author
Arie E. Pelta, M.D., a Board Certified General and Colorectal Surgeon from the USA , made aliyah with his wife and 7 children in 2013. He is also a active Medical Corps Officer holding the rank of Captain in the IDF Reserves. Currently practicing in Laniado Hospital in Netanya and at Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv, part of the Assia Medical group; speciaizing in the surgical care of all problems of the colon, rectum and anus.
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