Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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12 Adar 5761 - March 7, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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A Letter from Gedolim for Purim

BS"D, Erev Purim, 5761

Hashem, with His abundant goodness and kindness, made an eternal covenant with His nation, Yisroel, selecting them to sustain Creation through constant Torah study. Chazal understand that it is Torah study that maintains the world from the posuk, "If My covenant with the night and with the day would not be. . ." (Yirmiyahu 33:25). Rabbenu Chaim of Volozhin zt"l discusses the connection between appropriate Torah study and the world's existence at length in Nefesh HaChaim (Sha'ar IV, chapter 11).

When Jews distance themselves from the Torah way, mistakenly trying to be like other nations, chas vesholom, HaKodosh Boruch Hu brings misfortune and suffering so that they realize they have a Creator and once again come nearer to Him. All this is because He loves them so and has neither left nor abandoned them even during the exile, as Chazal infer from the posuk, "And yet [for] all that when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them" (Vayikro 26:44).

This is what happened during the Purim miracle. By means of the horrible decree of Achashverosh and Haman, the Jews were aroused to do teshuvah and come closer to HaKodosh Boruch Hu. In Megillah 14a, Chazal teach us, "The removal of [Achashverosh's] ring [and its being handed to Haman] was greater [in causing the Jews to do teshuvah] than the nev'uah of the prophets." The Jews at that time reached the level of receiving the Torah with love. "The Jews fulfilled and took upon them and upon their seed" (Esther 9:27). "They fulfilled what they had already taken upon themselves" (Shabbos 88a), but this time with true love (ibid.).

Every year during Purim, each person is given the unique ability to elevate himself in spiritual matters through proper attention and correct preparation. These days can even help a person merit deliverance from all misfortune.

Accordingly, we understand how much we must strengthen ourselves during this time through the study of Torah: laboring and diligently studying it. Only through Torah study can we reach all spiritual levels and completely fulfill the mitzvos of Purim. Unfortunately, we see that the opposite has happened. The pillars of the world weaken on this day, because people decrease their study of Torah, and "anything more holy, is more ruined." The essence and benefit of this great day has been altogether distorted and forgotten.

How fortunate are those who keep their Torah study sedorim in the yeshiva during these days. As the Yerushalmi in Brochos 88a teaches us, "If you saw that people have greatly despaired from the Torah, immediately strengthen yourself with it and you will receive the reward in place of all of them." In this zechus, may we merit that what happened in the past will happen now. May we be privileged to see the spiritual and material salvation that Hashem brings for His people.

I sign for the sake of the Torah's honor,

Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz

I also join these heartfelt words,

Aharon Yehudah Leib Steinman


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