“There is one people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom...”

-Esther 3:8

The evil Haman used these words to convince King Achashverosh to destroy the Jewish people. His argument emphasized “scattered and dispersed,” to imply that the Jewish people are not united and thus open to attack.

The Jewish response was “Go, assemble all the Jews...” (Esther 4:16), “To gather together to defend themselves...” (8:11), “The Jews gathered together in their cities...” (9:2).

In other words, they recognized that the unity and togetherness of the Jewish people would be the antidote to Haman’s slander of “scattered and dispersed.” This unity did indeed save them from their powerful enemies who outnumbered them by far.

The significance of this principle is seen also in some of the specific laws and practices mandated for Purim: “sending gifts to one another and grants to the poor” (Esther 9:22)-thus uniting ourselves with others in the celebration of this festival.

There is an obvious analogy between these events of Purim and the present galut and anticipated redemption. Our tradition teaches us that the present galut was caused by gratuitous hatred. The internal corruption of disunity and divisiveness led to the dispersion of Israel from the Holy Land. Conversely, it is unity and gratuitous love for one another that will remedy this sad condition and bring about the Messianic redemption and restoration. Indeed, the major effect of Moshiach will be to correct the entire world to serve G‑d in unity, as it is said: “For then I will turn to the peoples a pure tongue that all shall call upon the Name of G‑d and serve Him with one consent!” (Zephaniah 3:9)


Mystical texts note the analogy between the terms “Purim” and “Yom Kippurim.” Moreover, they state that the holiest day of the year is called “Yom Ki-purim,” which could be translated “A Day like Purim.” This suggests that Purim has an advantage over Yom Kippur.

The advantage of Purim is seen in the most obvious difference between these two days: Yom Kippur is a fast-day on which we must afflict ourselves by refraining from basic human needs such as eating, drinking, bathing, etc. Purim, on the other hand, is a feast-day celebrated with festive eating, drinking and merriment.

Purim thus celebrates man’s involvement with the physical reality of G‑d’s creation. The use of material substances in context of man’s service of-and relationship with-G‑d, imbues these substances with spirituality. It sublimates them to their Divinely intended purpose. Purim manifests the intrinsic oneness of the universe which is rooted in the Oneness of its Creator.

This, indeed, is the ultimate purpose of creation: to manifest its Divine origin by converting this world into a fitting abode for G‑dliness. This is man’s mission for which he was created, and especially in the time of the galut, the time of our dispersion throughout the world. The achievement of this goal is the ultimate bliss of the Messianic era when “the earth shall be full with the knowledge of G‑d as the waters cover the sea... and the glory of G‑d shall be revealed and all flesh shall see together...” (Isaiah 11:9 and 40:5). Our efforts towards that end will hasten this goal and bliss, to happen very speedily in our days.