Shlomo Ezagui

Purim: Unconditional Love

Roman Kraft

Many books tell us that there is a deep connection between the holidays of Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) and Purim (the holiday wherein we are instructed to drink lots of wine).

In Hebrew, names are not just a means of identifying something; they are descriptions of that object. The connection between what is a most solemn day, Yom Kippur, and the festive celebration of Purim can be seen in their names. In Hebrew, the word Kippurim means “like Purim.” The holiest day of the year, the Day of Atonement is only “like Purim!”

One of the apparent commonalities between the two days is the “lots” that took place on both holidays. On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, it was to choose between the two goats, and on Purim, it was the lot that the wicked Haman cast to select the day when he would kill all the Jews.

Sometimes a person will prefer one choice over another because of rational considerations. When making a raffle, however, the results defy logic. On both days, what highlights the worship of God is an acceptance and commitment to the pure will of Divine Providence, not because anyone understands, but only because that is what God wants.

A person’s connection with God can be based on logic. He understands there must be a Creator to the world, and its continued existence can only be credited to, Him. So, he consciously chooses to devote himself to this source, knowing it will benefit him. This kind of relationship is, by its very nature, finite. It is based on the premise that can change if someone comes up with a good reason why the current conclusions are wrong.

Then there’s the commitment and dedication, more profound and higher than any logical considerations. At this point, it is unconditional, depends on no rational considerations, and nothing will move the person away from this relationship because, again, at this point, it is not based on anything one can argue with.

On Yom Kippur, this deep relationship (represented by the lots) comes into play, and therefore the worship expressed itself through “lots” — a raffle to choose the goats for the day’s service. When a person connects with the deepest levels of a spouse, parent, or friend, where the love is unconditional, then how a person behaved in the past does not matter; therefore, atonement is possible.

Even so, physical props bring about this deep connection on Yom Kippur. By fasting and attending services, we are like angels; this kind of Godly and spiritual conduct brings about a deep relationship between ourselves and God’s forgiveness.

On Purim, though, the idea of “lots,” which shows how close we are to God, is demonstrated by drinking (to the point where it’s hard to tell what’s good and what’s bad because we get below the surface and realize God only does good ALL the time), eating, being happy, and not separating ourselves from the material world. God connects with us, and we connect with the infinite depth of God, even in the physical world of eating and drinking.

Purim is the holiday that gives us strength for the entire year and the power of our unconditional and boundless relationship with God; even while we eat and drink and appear to be thinking only of ourselves, In ALL that we do, not just spiritual things we can (and should) be aware that “In all your ways, you should (and you can) know God.”

Chapter 44

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
Related Topics
Related Posts