Thought of the Week: Vayikra - 5782


The prophet Daniel and the Rabbis in the Talmud equate the fundamental nature of the Persians to a bear.  The bear is often recognized as a highly emotional creature.  When King Solomon wished to convey a situation of passion, he remarked, “Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.”

The true enemy of the Purim holiday is Amalek, and their cold, emotionless approach to that which should naturally inspire.  During the exodus from Egypt, as miracles and wonders astonished all dwellers of the planet, the nation of Amalek remained unimpressed.  They rationalized the events of the day and diminished the sublime into something ordinary.

The temptation to reduce the magnificent gifts bestowed by the Almighty by means of rationalization is a spiritual ailment that must be purged by every human being.  If at times the intellect does not cooperate in this imperative mission, we must turn to our emotions.  When we look around and see the magnificent world constructed for us, we must allow the little emotional Persian bear within us to sing and praise Hashem with song, as King David proclaimed, “Hashem, how manifold are your works!  In wisdom you have made them all.  The earth is full of your possessions.”

Reducing the intellect and appreciating by means of feeling represent the essence of Purim.  Assistance in reaching this goal often comes from a glass or two of wine.

Hopefully, the environment of Purim will facilitate and assist us in reaching our objective - to celebrate with our hearts and thank Hashem for the miracles that saved the Jews from Haman’s plot.

Happy Purim