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Purim: A Time to Build Ourselves Anew.

The Megillah relates how during Achashverosh’s feast for the people of Shushan, the king gave explicit instructions to allow each person to do as he wishes: V’hashsia kadas ain onais... lasos kirtzon ish v’ish. They should drink as they wish without being forced for thus the king has established... to accommodate each person’s desires...”

The verse hints at an important insight: The true desire of each Jew is to serve Hashem. Every Jew wants to lead a life full of mitzvos, but his yetzer hara gets in the way. We all want to pray with a pure heart, study Torah whenever possible and be righteous, but the yetzer hara is very powerful and almost compels us to veer off from the path we would have chosen.

However, when a Jew drinks some wine on Purim (v’hashsia kadas), the yetzer hara loses his power of influence (ain onais), and then the person’s true inner desire is fulfilled (lasos kirtzon ish v’ish). Under the influence of wine, the person’s soul is bared and his sincere love of Hashem comes to the surface.

“For thus the king has established.” The word used in this verse can mean “foundation.” On Purim the King of kings, Hashem, sets a new foundation in our hearts on which we can build ourselves anew. On Purim we have the chance to reinforce ourselves spiritually and grow closer to Hashem.

May the King of kings indeed help us achieve our sincere desires and may we merit serving Hashem faithfully.


“And he raised Hadassa [Esther] for she had no father or mother.” 

Mordechai took his orphaned niece into his home and raised her devotedly. The Megillah concludes with the words, “And he spoke peacefully with all of his offspring.” 

There is a connection between these two verses. Mordechai raised an orphaned infant in his home so that she should grow up a proper Jewess and keep all of the mitzvos. In this merit, he ended up being blessed with peace and prosperity.

Dear brothers! The mitzvah of loving our fellow Jews is a major principle of the Torah. Sometimes we forget how crucial this mitzvah is and we do the wrong things, as is hinted by the names of the servants of Acheshvarosh: Mehuman - we become “confused,” Bizesa - we “embarrass” other people, Charbonah - we “destroy” them. We don’t do this in a calculated way, G-d forbid, but out of confusion. The yetzer hara makes us forget how damaging a bad word about another person can be, and how even a slight derogatory remark can destroy people’s lives.

All of us must work on the mitzvah of “loving our fellow man as oneself.” How can this be achieved? The Torah does not command us to “love the entire Jewish people as yourself.” Instead, the Torah tells us to work on loving our fellow man, in singular form. We should work on cultivating our love for the people around us, one person at a time. By concentrating on developing our love fore each person individually, we will eventually progress to the state of loving all Jews.

Mordechai began with Esther, an orphaned infant, for whom he went out of his way to show his love. In the end he achieved peace and love of all Jews.

Let us all love one another, and may we merit Hashem’s love in return, along with all blessings brought about through unity.

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