Purim 5784: Unity, Torah and Purim

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Moshe Burt
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Purim 5784: Unity, Torah and Purim

by Moshe Burt

The Sochaczever Rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, z”l discusses Purim and the connection between Unity and Torah, particularly pertinent in these days, and provides citings, as well as his own commentary in his sefer “Shem Mishmuel” Rendered to English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski (pages 187 – 189) :

Chazal tell us that the Jews accepted [the Torah] again in the time of Achashveirosh, as the verse says, “They arose and accepted.” (Megillat Esther, Perek 9, posuk 27 rendered to English in Sefer “Shem Mishmuel,” as cited in Shabbos 88a)

At the original acceptance of the Torah, at Har Sinai, Yisrael had been completely unified. Everyone assembled for a common purpose: to receive the word of Hashem.

Chazal explain:

“And Yisrael encamped there, opposite the mountain” (Chazal citing Shemos, Perek 19, posuk 2) — Everywhere they encamped, there was disagreement, but here they were of one heart. (Chazal citing Mechilta, BaChodesh 1)

As we understand that this unity was prerequisite for accepting the Torah, it seems reasonable for us to say that the same unity must have existed at the time of its second acceptance, during the reign of Achashveirosh. Indeed, only after the entire Purim episode had played itself out were Yisrael in this state of unity, ready to accept the Torah anew. Perhaps this was the function of the threat against Yisrael — to force them to set aside their differences and to act for the greater good and survival of the Klal.

We all know about the wildness and wickedness of Eisev and that these characteristics were handed down through the generations of Amalek and inherited by his progeny, Haman. And we know that king Achashveirosh appointed Haman, formerly one of the king’s close ministers who was previously known as Memuchan, as his Viceroy, i.e. second in command. Achashveirosh conveyed upon Haman the task of dealing with this “one people, scattered and separate among the peoples in all of the states of [his — Achashveirosh’s] kingdom.” (Citing Megilat Esther, Perek 3. posuk 8)

Shem Mishmuel continues (ibid) :

Since Haman was given control over the kingdom of Achashveirosh, his own perverse character traits also had some effect on the citizens of his viceroy-ship. So, in some sense Yisrael were defiled by the wickedness of Haman and were influenced toward his vile mode of thought and action. However, when Achashveirosh passed the ring of authority to Haman, the Jews were stimulated to cry out to Hashem to save them from their enemy’s murderous decrees. They fasted and begged Him to overturn Haman’s wicked enactment. This was just the opposite of Haman’s [accusation of] “separate,” as Yisrael relied not on their own power but on Hashem, G’d of their forefathers. Not only this, but the Jews gathered together with a single purpose to save Yisrael. This was opposite of Haman’s [accusation] of [the Jews as] “scattered,” which sought to introduce disunity and selfishness to the Jews.

So, as a direct result of Haman’s actions, the Jews were able to reach the stage of perfect communal harmony, which had previously been a prerequisite for receiving the Torah at Sinai. Thus, at the end of the Purim story, they were able to accept the Torah anew…

Indeed, in the verse quoted [at the beginning of this vort — Megillat Esther, Perek 9, posuk 27], we see curious usage… We would expect the text to say “kiblu,” meaning “they accepted” (as, in fact, it is read), but instead, the singular form, “kibel,” appears. This indicates that they were absolutely unified and accepted the Torah upon themselves as would an individual — with a clear and single aim.

Without Haman and his inherent wickedness the Jews may have overcome their adversaries, but they would never have needed to unify in this way to repel the attack. To overpower Haman, however, they needed to reverse the effect that his nefarious reign had on them. …Without Haman, the Jews would never have been able to receive the Torah afresh. Yisrael were absolutely unified after the defeat of Haman, and even though they were living in different lands, they were in reality utterly dependent on each other for life itself.

And so we learn from Purim, the importance for all time, and particularly since 7 October, of unity amongst Am Yisrael in Israel and throughout the various different lands where Jews reside, against the today’s Amalekite enemy, be it Hamas, Hezbollah, the so-called “innocent Gazan civilians” who co-conspired with Hamas, as well as the financial sponsors of the mass slaughter and hostage taking, as well as worldwide antisemites: be they among a so-called “allied nation,” mind dumbed-down university students and their professors, mainstream media — print and electronic and more.

May it be that our Chayalim emerge totally victorious — eradicating Hamas, their terrorist buddies and the so-called “innocent civilians” of Gaza who joined with Hamas in their murderous deeds, and that the Chayalim return home whole — physically, mentally and spiritually and that the Chayalim Liberate and bring home all remaining hostages. And may we see the restoration of true unity within Am Yisrael.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently re-settled in Gush Katif, once the IDF, by the Yad Hashem, destructs and eradicates the wild beasts of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, all other terror entities, and if necessary Iran, and that our brethren be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them, that the thrice expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes and the oft-destroyed Yeshiva buildings in Homesh be rebuilt, as well as the buildings of Yishuv Elchanan, all at total government expense. May our Chayalim return from battle unharmed — physically, mentally and spiritually and may all of the hostages brutally taken by the wild beasts of Hamas be liberated and returned to their families. Baruch Hashem that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard is now in his fourth year at home in Eretz Yisrael and continues in a new chapter in his life. May Esther Yocheved bat Yechiel Avraham have an aliyah in Shemayim and may her spirit and memory continue to lift Jonathan to at least 120 years. May the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem — as with the return in April, 2019, via Russia, of the remains of Zachariah Baumel, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of nine years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we see, in 5784, the REAL Jews from the Ukraine and Russia as well as the US and Canada, the real Jews via matrilineal descent, make Aliyah enmass — via thorough review by Misrad HaPanim. And may we soon and finally see the total end to the Communist Chinese Wuhan Lab corona virus pandemic and all like viruses and variants. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nei Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Purim Same’ach!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.