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Rabbi YY Jacobson
Purim Teaches How Us How to View the Insignificant Moments of Life
For Source Sheets: https://www.theyeshiva.net/jewish/2725
In a book famous for its conciseness, the story of Esther stands apart as one of the most detailed and intriguing in the entire Torah. It reads like a novel, filled with suspense, mystery and drama, where events in the opening of the narrative are understood only at its conclusion.
The story opens with an unexplained, outrageous and over extravagant affair, thrown by a party-animal of a king, and slowly develops into a breathtaking rollercoaster of sinister plots, unlikely heroes, hilarious ironies, and ultimately, inspiring salvation. The book of Esther, in so many ways, charts the cycle of Jewish history in Diaspora, and provides direction and answers to many contemporary questions.
This class will analyze why this is the only biblical book without G-d mentioned even once. It will also analyze a Talmudic debate regarding how much of the story we must read on Purim in order to fulfill the mitzvah of hearing Megillah, and the verdict, that we must read the entire book. Why would there be a religious obligation to listen on Purim to the story of a Persian King’s feast? Of how he executed his queen? These are interesting historical stories, but why the obligation to listen to them on Purim? Why is it that we fulfill the mitzvah of hearing the Megillah only if we learn of the detailed designs at the King’s 187-day party?
The class explains how the Megillah teaches us to view world-events. The story of Purim is not that G-d saves the Jews from annihilation. It is a much deeper story: that the lavish feast of a mighty King is part of a vast plan that leads to the objective of existence. The Megilah teaches us how to understand history and how to appreciate the apparent randomness of daily existence.
The class explores the significance of the name Purim, and the teaching in Kabbalah that it is even greater than Yom Kippur. We also go on a journey through a fascinating Mishnah about the six days of creation and we discover the unique contribution of Purim and the Megilah to the understanding of existence and destiny.
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- Purim - Пурим