PURIM IN GOLUS
Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita
Ok where do we go from here? Purim is the yearly moment of maximum joy yet in the golus of COVID it seems to have been devoured of all the carousing joy usually attendant with this holy day.
Yet, wait one moment, things may not be as bad as they seem. Let us share a vort from the Rebbe Rav Bunim of Pshischa and find some chizuk.
Chazal have taught that in regards to the prohibition of doing work on Purim chazal never enacted a rule that we should not be able to do so. There was never an issue to do a malacha. Obviously we are not meant to go to work, but we are told we can run about and even shop if needed in the spirit of the Yom Tov.
Chazal tells us that we are meant to have a seudah and to celebrate but regarding malacha there is no such aspect.
Question is why not? After all on this day there was a huge miracle that would impact on Jews for all history, we are told that on Purim the Yidden accepted the Torah with a full heart, whereas at Har Sinai there was a tinge of coercion involved. On Purim we are told that the Yidden were kiymu vekiblu… accepting with a fullness of heart, so why not have a full blown Yom Tov…. After all chazal had the ability to be gozer such a thing if they felt fit to do so.
Says the Imrei Emes in the name of his Zieda the Sfas Emes… that the Rebbe Reb Bunim explains that the days of Purim and Chanukah were especially meant to give strength to the Yieden in golus. In fact, it is just these days that keep us spiritually alive during this long road sojourn.
Therefor these days are specifically celebrated in a weekday sort of way…. By driving, by putting on lights etc…..
Although we are attired on Purim in shabbosdika clothing, that is because the ness had something to do with dress as well…and in fact on Chanukah the minhag of many Rebbe’s is davka to light the candles wearing their weekday clothing.
Therefor this Yom tov of Purim is specifically a weekday simcha, and we are not even allowed to read the Megilah on a Shabbos
The Rebbe continues, that those Yomim Tovim in which we do no malacha were times when we figuratively went up to Hashem…. We went up to Jerusalem, we participated in spiritual acts that were extremely high and we had to reach up for them… we had to reach up to heaven.
Whereas on these days of Purim and Chanukah, we bring Hashem down into our daily existence…. Into our work weary lives. In these days we allow Hashem into our daily reality so to speak. Into the physicality of our mundane circumstances.
Look at Chanukah, we light the menorah in each home, here we are mere shleppers, enacting something the Cohen Gadol did in the Bais Hamikdosh in our living room…
It’s as if Hashem is paying us a house call, a visit into our intimate lives.
Purim we find ourselves in some ways at the lowest most physical place, and it is just at this juncture that we celebrate in the most prosaic way, eating and drinking…
Chanukah has a bit more himeldikness to it. Candle lights, gentle songs as the night falls….whereas Purim is in your face… even to the point where we don’t even know what we are doing….ad deloh yoda.
What we are saying on Purim? We are telling Hashem that this is our Yom tov and we invite Kaviyuchal The Eibishter into our true existence… However, the Halacha is that one must follow the minhag of the ba’al habayis (the house holder) and since we are the ba’al Habatim of this Yom tov we must celebrate it as is our earthly minhag, which includes eating, a bit of fun and yes even a drink or two or three.
In all the other Yomim Tovim we follow heavenly patterns because they are created in Heaven, sure we have some say in the calendar but in truth it’s the Eibishter that calls the shots. On these holidays we are meant to rise up to Yerusholayim Shel Matah and just as in heaven they don’t work, so too on those Yomim Tovim.
But Purim’s original starting point is from down here, human things, and it’s a physical commemoration. Therefore the time of Purim and Chanukah are special to the golus yid because they were initiated in the darkness of golus and showed Hashem’s light in that very place. That is why even the lowest shlepper gets leibidik on Purim, it has a power that touches even the furthest soul.
Sweet Yidden, yes this Purim will be different, perhaps limiting in so many ways. Yet, it is ours to hug close and cherish. We are so gifted, in the midst of this most earthly trial we can hold onto the essence of Hashem, and create Kiddush Hashem by davka not spreading our activities beyond what is permissible. Hashem knows our disquiet and holds us close, his love for his children is eternal and therefor it is in this the yom tov of golus where he asks us to hold on the most. Mi keamcha Yisroel, loving Tatta in Himel see how we celebrate according to your Will, see your children not losing their faith, yes this is the stuff of future legends and we have been found worthy of playing a starring role.