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Purim is super-Kabbalistic. After all, Purim is all about disguise, secrets and intrigue. And there’s no greater secret than who you really are. Actually, there is. It’s the secret of who is Feivel.

Purim Secrets

Purim Secrets

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Jack Schwartz was so big into Kabbalah, he left his upscale Long Island home to travel for many days so he could meet with a great Kabbalah master hiding out in a health spa in Guadalajara, Mexico. In breathless awe, he asked the master his one burning question, “Great Kabbalah master! My name is Jack Schwartz, and I have come all this way to ask you: What is Kabbalah?”

In typical Jewish form, the great Kabbalah master answered, “Who is Jack Schwartz?”

That was all Jack needed to open his eyes and his heart to the mysteries of Kabbalah.

You see, you could wonder for years, “Who am I, really?” Some people think they are their job. Others believe they are their clothes, or their car. A lot of people believe they are their portfolio. Well, they used to, but nowadays they don’t have much of that left anyways. So they’re starting to realize, “Hey, maybe I exist even without my portfolio! But then, who am I?”

And that, really, is what Kabbalah is all about.

Well, it’s a little more complicated. You see, you are not just one person. You’re two people. Actually, three. Actually, you’re a whole bustling metropolis of people and personalities. A study on bilinguals revealed that they had one personality when ordering a hamburger in English at McDonalds and another when ordering papas y beer at the Casa del Chili. So, which one of these many people are you really?

Among all those personalities inside, the two main players are the human-animal person and the G‑dly person. Feivel is nothing more than a material manifestation of the human-animal person within most of us. Miri, on the other hand, is playing the part of the G‑dly person. The clothes and disguises she is talking about are the behaviors a person takes on—clothes to express the soul.

Feivel always remains Feivel, no matter how you dress him up. You can teach him, train him, discipline him, and maybe he’ll even start acting a little more civilized. You can inspire him with love, imbue him with a sense of awe and fire him up with a taste of wonder. But under all that, he still remains the same instinct-driven creature as he was born, and you can just never be sure what he might do next. The clothes look nice, but clothes can’t make you a man.

The G‑dly person inside you—that’s like Miri, just the opposite of Feivel. Even when she is not dressed in her royal robes, without any inspiration, no clue of how she’s supposed to act, unadorned with the regalia of mitzvahs and jewels of Torah that belong to her as a princess—nevertheless she remains untainted, a pure and dignified G‑dly soul. Dress her in that regal finery, and immediately you see her true essence come out. The clothes become her—because they really are her clothes.

So, who are you really? It’s hard to answer, because each of these souls inside is vying for that position—the position of being you. The truth is, however, that even the animal inside knows that it can never be complete without that G‑dly spark guiding and directing it. And eventually, with the help of a tzaddik, that animal-person will also be a least a little transformed.

Happy Purim!

Written and conceived by Tzvi Freeman. Rabbi Freeman is available for public speaking and workshops. Read more on his bio page.
Music by The Piamentas
Rabbi Infinity played by Andrew Torres
Animation and SFX by Pilar Newton of Pilar Toons
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
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Discussion (18)
October 26, 2014
I can just feel my neshama soaking up the warmth...
Sam Leon
March 6, 2014
On Jack Swartsh and kabbalah.....
After thirty years of prayers I still frown when thinking of chanukkah and purim and my past experiences. There is no need to intoxicate myself to feel the thin tread that balance between the faculties of the soul. From the lowest to the highest. What this cartoon depict is the pure heart of that little girl, Miri ( esther ) and the joy she feels in performing a mitzvah.
The woman I married and who follows me on my left side is much like Esther. But there is a time span between the giving of the Torah and the acceptance of the Torah. And it´s not all in the clothes or the white gown of marriage. A pure heart, like this little girl, is the key.
Happy Purim and blessings.
peter sundwall
sweden
March 28, 2011
Sweet
I don't know how many times I've watched this (and I'm still watching it after Purim!). It is so well done -- a neatly packed message. I think what makes it is the sweet voice of 'Esther,' or is it Esther?!
Anonymous
Aust
March 20, 2011
Awesome!!!!!
' Dress her in that regal finery and immediately you see her true essence come out. The clothes become her—because they really are her clothes.'

Miri same inside and outside. Attainable???? Yes, I conclude but not without the help from Above. Happy Purim everyone!!!!!!
Paul Akinjo
Oakland, ca
March 10, 2009
A Universal Message
Fantastic! The message is clear, the way it is delivered amusing. This message reaches more people than might admit it, even those outside chabad would understand and,perhaps, take on its message.
Susan
gravesend, England
March 9, 2009
confusing
I think the whole point of dressing up is to show that things are NOT how they always appear on the outside.
It's acutally a custom to dress up as non-jews to express this idea. I'm not suggesting children shouldnt dress up as Esther but for the lesson we learn from dressing up, this is not the idea but is confusing. On the upnote, brilliant presentation!!! Thanks!
Anonymous
March 8, 2009
Re: Feivel
Feivel is a mechanical pet using a patented algorithm for consciousness and (partially) controlled by a mind-heart interface. See the Feivel Suite for more information.

Nothing unkosher about that.
Rabbi Infinity
March 8, 2009
To the above Feivel Post:
I think Feivel is a Sheep, which is Kosher. As in the flying insect, perhaps a flying grasshopper.
Yankel
March 7, 2009
Feivel
Great idea, but, in keeping with the Rebbe's directives, can the cute animals in the next episodes be kosher?
Anonymous
S. Paulo SP, Brazil
March 7, 2009
purim
very sweet specially i liked the music
thanks to chabad for all you do for us jews
all over the planet
hope to be worthy of loving chabad people as all israel people
Anonymous
tel aviv, israel
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