The Seudah of Purim 5691 (1931)1 [Riga]

1. Harnessing intellect to refine middos

Today’s task in avodah is to reach a point at which “one no longer knows [the difference]” — specifically between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordechai.”2 Now, as everyone knows, the Torah makes it clear that Haman is accursed and Mordechai is blessed. The avodah of Purim, not to know this difference, is thus to transcend the very distinction between “blessed” and “cursed.” And the way to attain this is through the joy of Purim.

Unlike the avodah of Purim, which is not knowing, a person’s yearlong task is to know and understand. This means that while his true avodah consists of the refinement and correction of his middos, his character traits, he should nevertheless focus his exertion on knowing and understanding [Divine concepts].

Exertion on the intellectual front has two thrusts. The first is the arduous toil needed to grasp a concept in its pristine integrity, rather than in a form modified by one’s capacity to grasp it.3 The second is the effort needed to ensure that what one has grasped should palpably affect one’s character traits.

The desired effect of mind on character traits occurs at a number of very distinct levels. Intellectual activity can (in ascending order) weaken the [undesirable] middos;4 crush5 and refine6 them by salvaging their positive elements; correct7 them; activate8 them; and vitalize9 them.

To ensure that the task at each level is faithfully fulfilled requires further spiritual toil, and since this is now addressed to a specific level, it appears in various forms. For example: The particular avodah required to weaken [undesirable] middos entails their utter negation. Throwing the first bucket of water on a fire hacks down its intensity. In the same way, intellectual activity weakens the middos, which are by nature emotional and excitable, by hacking down their fiery ardor.

The particular kind of avodah required to weaken the middos differs from the particular kind of avodah required to crush them and salvage their positive elements. The latter kind of avodah requires a greater manifestation of intellectual activity. Crushing calls for power which, though it too accords with the spirit of the Torah, is nevertheless power (as in self-mortification). The selective refinement of the middos calls for intellectual activity.

Moving up the ladder, the latter kind of avodah differs from the spiritual labors required for the correction of the middos. This stage in self-cultivation may already be counted as the beginning of avodah proper. The preceding stages all relate to “turning away from evil”; this utterly different stage of avodah, the correction of the middos, constitutes the initial alef of “doing good.”10 The varied aspects of this stage of avodah are distinct from the kind of avodah whose goal is to activate the middos.11

“Activating the middos” does not merely signify that the middah in question is in use. We do not mean that “correcting the middos” means no more than preparing a vessel which waits unused until the next stage, when it is activated. At the stage called “correction of the middos,” the middos are already at work — except that, as in the case of all middos regulated by the intellect, it is the intellect that is operating via the middos; they are weakened by its light. At the higher stage called “activating the middos,” the middos act as dictated by the intellect, but they act with all their innate emotional excitability. At this stage, though they are the product of the intellect, they manifest the superiority of their innate excitability over the innate frigidity which is (at least) an offshoot of the intellect’s deliberateness.

Advancing yet further up the ladder, the particular kind of avodah which is required to “activate the middos” differs from the specialized kind of avodah which is required to vitalize the middos. At this stage, the intellectually-motivated middos are alive. This means that they are not only higher than the middos of the intellect, but also higher than the intellect of the middos. When a person is operating merely at the level of “the intellect of the middos,” his intellect is hidden behind the currently-dominant middah. This is why when his intellect is manifestly active, the middah is dormant, and when the middah is manifestly active, the intellect must be latent. But when he is operating at the level of vitalized middos, his middah is his intellect and his intellect is his middah. They are now as one.

This is what was meant above. One’s true avodah deals with middos, through each of the particular approaches enumerated above. At the same time, one should focus his exertion on a dual intellectual endeavor — to know and clearly understand [Divine concepts], and to ensure that one’s intellectual activity should affect his middos.

2. People fond of themselves are faultless…

The first step in the direction of serving G‑d must be the fulfillment of the verse, “And you shall eradicate the evil from your midst.”12 So the question arises, how can one know whether there is anything evil within himself? The trouble is that there is a prevalent fault: people are often very fond of themselves. A person in this situation does not find faults within himself. Even if he does somehow sense that not everything is exactly as it ought to be, he has a ready battery of extenuating explanations. Indeed, he may even come to regard himself as a man of stature.

How, then, can one know if he has any evil within himself? The answer is in the verse, “Your evil will chastise you”:13 a man is oppressed by the evil within himself.14 It can happen that when one notes something evil in another, not only does he not give him the benefit of the doubt, but he finds himself perturbed by what he perceives as severe guilt. He may even speak about this publicly. (In truth, of course, one’s fellow should be rebuked lovingly and privately.)15 Indeed, from his words one may observe that he in fact is pained by what he perceives. In truth, however, what is really bothering him is the evil within himself. As the above verse states, “Your evil will chastise you.”

This explains why there are people who do not see evil in others. The constant contentions of R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, that seemingly sinful Jews were in fact innocent and well-intentioned, are not mere cute phrases. Rather, he saw the good that is to be found within everyone.

3. Uprooting personal evil

Evil appears in two forms.

One kind has to be rejected outright, in the spirit of the phrase, “People shall call out, Go out, you impure one!”16 As with something irreversibly unclean, the only solution for this kind of evil is to cast it out.17 There is another kind of evil which can be redeemed by being pulverized, for its debris includes elements that can be salvaged, reworked, and put to use.18

Watch a craftsman closely examine a vessel brought to him for repair. In order to separate its usable parts from its unusable parts, he begins the process of repair — and of beirur — by shattering it. The utterly useless parts he throws out, and the parts that can be recycled have to be cleansed of any corrosion before they can be used.

So too in the realm of avodah. The first step is to scrutinize the vessel — to carefully consider one’s current spiritual condition and to candidly assess what direction he is taking. Just as the first bucket of water thrown on to a fire stills its intensity, at least momentarily, the above self-appraisal moderates one’s middos sufficiently to allow him to proceed to their particulars, and to consider which of their components are good and which are not.

The next step, the pulverization, must be monitored by the intellect, that is, it must accord with the laws of the Torah. However, it must be done powerfully, with fasting and self-mortification tailored to the measure and spiritual status of the individual. His aim at this stage must be to cast out the evil elements within himself, immediately and powerfully, thus fulfilling the above-quoted verse, “And you shall eradicate the evil from your midst.” It is his own evil that he must uproot. Whether it manifests itself as evil character traits, or as an evil eye, or an evil mouth, or whatever, it must be uprooted until it can no longer be seen or found. For there is nothing redeemable in an unkind nature, or in an evil eye that is envious and unbegrudging, or in an evil mouth that can lie or gossip or curse (G‑d forbid). Such behaviors must be eradicated from within.

4. Stages in character refinement

Just as the discerning craftsman salvages parts of the damaged vessel and reconstitutes them, so should one isolate the positive elements that are embedded in an evil character context, extricate them from their worldly swamp, and cleanse himself from the worldly dust and mud that collects over the years — frivolity and idle chatter and the like.

Here we see the difference between G‑dly reason as found in the Torah and its commandments, and mortal reason.

One might expect mortal reason to influence a man’s character traits — but this is not what we observe.

There is something that the world calls reason. If you ask someone why he does so-and-so, why he conducts himself in a particular way, why he shaves his beard or whatever, he replies that this is what people do, this is what the world does. His answer discloses that he does not know why he acts as he does, but since this is what the world does, so does he. In fact, however, the other fellow likewise doesn’t know why he is acting as he does, because he and the others are all relying on the authority of what the world does — like bodies without a head. Worldly custom is a body without a head.

Mortal reason is a head without a body. Of course mortal reason understands that evil character traits and self-love are undesirable whereas positive character traits and loving a fellow Jew are desirable; of course mortal reason fully understands that evil traits are despicable and good traits are admirable. The trouble is that all this worthy understanding remains fixated in the head and does not tangibly affect the way one actually lives one’s life. It is a head without a body.

Some stores deal in new goods; others deal in secondhand goods [which, like some people’s spiritual personalities, have to be taken apart and reconstituted].

Jews by nature are blessed with good character traits: they are bashful, compassionate and kind.19 They are, however, “scattered and spread among the nations”20 of the world. True enough, the ultimate intention underlying this is that they refine the air of the world by means of their Torah study and their Divine service. In the meantime, though, they find themselves in all kinds of places and countries, accumulating their dim and dusty mores — and these need to be sorted out. Some of this baggage needs to be utterly rejected and thrown away; some of it can be utilized in the spirit of the Torah and its commandments. Be that as it may, everyone understands that this alone does not constitute the ultimate goal of avodah. The ultimate goal of avodah is the rectification and elevation of one’s character traits. This is accomplished by means of G‑dly reason, the reason in the Torah and its commandments.

The reason underlying the Torah and the commandments constitutes a head and a heart. This G‑dly reason acts upon the middos, ensuring that they conform to it. Once a man’s entire personality is lit up with the light of G‑dly reason, that reason weakens the [undesirable] middos, as discussed above; it cools down their fiery intensity; and then comes the avodah of crushing them and selectively refining them. As was explained above, the pulverizing must be monitored by the mind, that is, according to the Torah. This stipulation also applies to the fasting and self-mortification that are prescribed in works on penitential rectification;21 they must not harm one’s health. This is the time to utterly eradicate whatever traits are irreversibly evil, and to sort out and salvage whatever positive traits are hidden away (in the process called beirur hamiddos) and to cleanse them. The residue can then be transformed into positive character traits (this is called tikkun hamiddos). This can be followed by the labors of activating them (peulas hamiddos) and vitalizing them (chayus hamiddos), as discussed above.

5. Yom Kippur is like Purim?!

The above avodah relates to the year as a whole, i.e., exerting oneself to know and understand, and to activate and vitalize one’s middos. On Purim, however, one’s avodah has to do with not knowing,22 and this is achieved by means of the joy experienced on Purim. Everyone knows that Haman is accursed and Mordechai is blessed; everyone knows, or should know, that whoever prevents Jews from observing the Torah and its commandments is accursed and whoever helps them in this task is blessed.

Purim is a state in which no Haman exists. True, this world is the lowest of all worlds, a material world “in which the wicked prevail,”23 and “darkness covers the earth,”24 and there are numerous obstacles and hindrances to the study of Torah and to the “service of the heart”25 and to the observance of the commandments. At the same time, though, when a man is alone in his room he can sense the truth. If he genuinely wants to do all the above things, G‑d sees to it that there will be no obstacles or hindrances. And by means of the joy of Purim one can arrive at this kind of “not knowing.”

Purim is a lofty time. As explained in Torah Or,26 the name Yom Kippurim27 can also be interpreted to mean yom kePurim — “a day like Purim,”28 implying that the two days are on the same level, the level of Divinity which in Kabbalah is called Yesod Abba. Indeed, we see with our own eyes that on Yom Kippur every Jew is different from his usual self, though not at the Yom Kippur level of which it is written that “you shall purify yourselves before G‑d.”29 It is true that “the very day itself bestows atonement,”30 and all Jews who observe the mitzvos of the day by fasting and the other forms of affliction are at the level of Yom Kippur, including the level of which it is written that “you shall purify yourselves before G‑d.” This, however, relates only to the five levels of the soul (namely, Nefesh-Ruach-Neshamah and Chayah-Yechidah). On Purim, in contrast, all Jews can actually attain the level of Purim with their bodies.

6. On what does the destiny of Jewry depend?

Purim is the classic time of mesirus nefesh for the study of the Torah and the observance of its commandments: the Jews of that time were in a state of self-sacrifice for a whole year.31 Haman sought to “destroy, kill and eradicate all the Jews”;32 he wanted to uproot Yiddishkeit. He knew full well that Yiddishkeit is deeply and equally rooted in all Jews, young and old, women and children. He therefore hit upon a novel proposal. He persuaded Achashverosh to organize a massive banquet and to ensnare the Jews with treifah food.33 In that way, he calculated, he would have them under his thumb. Knowing that it would be difficult to cause them to sin in such a matter, he first showed them, as the Midrash relates,34 a banquet of the Land of Israel, something with a holy aspect. Once he succeeded in this ruse, he hoped that this would empower him to issue decrees against the study of Torah and the observance of its commandments, thereby utterly uprooting Yiddishkeit.

Mordechai, recognizing that the destiny of Jewry and Judaism depended wholly on the education of young children, which is the foundation of the House of Israel and of Judaism, invested all his might in gathering together little children and teaching them Torah. This gave all the Jews of that time the fortitude to hold out for an entire year in a state of self-sacrifice. And it was by virtue of this mesirus nefesh that they were ultimately redeemed. All this applies today. We must stand firm with self-sacrifice for the study of the Torah and the fulfillment of its mitzvos. We must not allow ourselves even a hairsbreadth of compromise. The letters of the Torah must be learned together with their vocalization points, thereby safeguarding the sanctity of the Torah. This, then, is the avodah of Purim. Our task is to attain a state in which Haman simply does not exist.


Purim: the Rosh HaShanah of mesirus nefesh

A question was addressed to the Rebbe by R. Mordechai Cheifetz:35 “But surely mesirus nefesh can take place at any time in the year; why is it [being said] that one can reach this level specifically on Purim?”

The Rebbe replied as follows:

Purim is the Rosh HaShanah of mesirus nefesh. On Purim one should stock up with a year’s supply of the strength needed to sacrifice oneself — to study Torah the way our fathers’ fathers studied, and to fulfill the commandments with a self-effacing acceptance of the yoke of Heaven. In this way, one’s all-consuming goal throughout the coming year should be that one’s children should have devout teachers who will teach them to read by the traditional method, which includes naming the letters and the vowels; that chadarim should be set up in which Gemara is taught in a spirit of G‑d-fearing conduct. When this is done, there will be no Hamans, and we will be blessed with redemption.

8. Coffee as a preparation for davening?!

People are gradually forgetting even the superficial flavor of a chassidic farbrengen of bygone years. Once upon a time people would come along on their own initiative and bring their chunk of iron to the blacksmith so that he should soften it for them in his fire... Nowadays, though, everyone is his own egocentric entity.36

Every individual should ask himself, by virtue of what does he regard himself thus? A person with such a self- perception is no more than “becoming strong in his wickedness”;37 he is priding himself in his egocentric self-sufficiency.38

It should be clearly kept in mind, though, that the verb (“becoming strong”) which is used regarding this kind of opinionated person is yaoz, whose root means brazenness. The verse does not simply say that “he prides himself (yisgaeh) in his wickedness”; it implies that “he is brazen in his wickedness.”

The former wording is appropriate when a person prides himself for something which might be a cause for pride — his wisdom, or his learning, or his discernment, or his cultivated character traits, or even his wealth. In fact, of course, wealth is no cause for pride. As the Sages express it, “There is a wheel that turns in the world.”39 And so we see: when he’s blessed from Above, yesterday’s poor man becomes tomorrow’s rich man; the reverse can also happen, G‑d forbid. Money, then, has no intrinsic worth (even though this proud individual may think otherwise), unless it is used as intended. As the Midrash says, “Gold was created only for the needs of the Sanctuary.”40 So if one builds a Sanctuary, money is worth something — but it is no justification for pride.

Everyone should ask himself, by virtue of what is he proud? The above verb yaoz suggests the brazen chutzpah that characterizes someone who knows full well that he is really an empty vessel, but expresses himself by being insolent anyway. The phrase yaoz behavaso thus implies that it is only insolence that allows a person to be full of himself.

As any individual asks himself what cause he has to be proud, he knows privately where he stands — in his knowledge and study of the Torah, especially with regard to the requirement that the words of the Torah be engraved in his brain;41 in his commitment to the avodah of prayer; in the refinement of his character traits; in the tone of his thoughts and words, and even sometimes his actions.

Knowing where one should stand in all these areas, and — without deluding oneself — acknowledging one’s actual status, how can a man be complacently proud of himself?

This becomes possible only when one’s sensitivity is coarsened; when one’s sense of truth is dulled; when one is not affected by what should affect him. Why don’t people set aside a time to take stock of what’s going to come of all this?

Can people be called chassidim if they don’t study Chassidus,42 and if they don’t daven with the inward avodah of meditation? So a man wears a gartl;43 very nice. But if only he wore an inward gartl, and was girded by the letters of the Torah, so that (as we have often said) he would truthfully have no affinity with undesirable matters!

Where are those Thursday nights? In bygone years chassidim used to sit up on Thursday nights and invest effort in study and in inwardly-directed avodah. (As everyone knows, Thursday’s spiritual labors comprise two themes: rectification, and avodah proper.)

The Thursday night that chassidim spent in self-cultivation left its imprint on their Shabbos. On Shabbos they would daven at measured and meditative length. And in order that their prayers should well forth spontaneously, there was the time spent beforehand44 [in the study of Chassidus]. It wasn’t like today, when the preparation for davenen is a cup of coffee….

In those days, if someone missed out on “davenen with avodah” on an ordinary Monday or Tuesday, he would still have Shabbos, except that the avodah of Shabbos takes place in a superior manner.

It wouldn’t hurt if there were people who allowed themselves the luxury of “delighting in G‑d.”45 Prayer comprises a number of elements: “delighting in G‑d”; “to behold the pleasantness of G‑d”;46 “to gaze upon the splendor of the King”;47 and, quite simply, offering a sacrifice. In any case, on Shabbos each of these elements of avodah is of a higher order than on weekdays.

What can one expect of regular householders if heads are empty? The heads of the congregation are not fully devoted to the Torah, and have not savored the taste of being connected Above through davenen — so what can one expect of regular householders?

True, there are plenty of excuses for not fixing times for the regular study of Chassidus and for not davenen as one ought to. But excuses are appropriate when a man is on trial (G‑d forbid), or when someone approaches him with demands for improved performance. As far as he himself is concerned, however, everyone knows the truth: there are no excuses. May G‑d indeed open up conduits for a generous flow of income for all our people — but, be that as it may, times must be set aside for Torah study.

9. Don’t just sigh: take action!

In addition to their own regular study sessions, people should try to bring along others too into the beis midrash. Why is it that when people see that someone has committed a monetary wrong they rebuke him, and if they’re really disturbed by it they summon him loudly to a hearing before the local rav or lay arbitrators, yet when they see someone conducting himself improperly in spiritual things they are not disturbed?

It goes without saying that such a fellow should be spoken to only in a manner that will not shame him, G‑d forbid. In fact, sitting in the privacy of one’s room and contemplating his misconduct, one should be pained to the point of tears.

There is a verse that says, “When you see the naked, cover him, but nor should you ignore your own flesh.”48 When you see a fellow Jew who is naked of tzitzis or tefillin, clothe him!49 Don’t just make a gesture of despair and comment that “nothing can be done anyway,” or discharge your obligation by uttering a sigh.

Despairing and sighing accomplish nothing. This is not G‑d’s intention. Instead, clothe your naked fellow Jew with tzitzis and tefillin.50

Some people immediately detect other people’s faults, and do not manage to find any mitigating causes. They don’t take the trouble to ponder over the possible reasons for which some fellow’s Yiddishkeit is in such a sorry condition, the possible causes that dragged him away so far and cut him off from observance, so that he doesn’t wear tzitzis, or tefillin (Heaven forfend!)

Some people don’t want to think about these things. That is why the above verse goes on to say, “... Nor should you ignore your own flesh.” If you don’t really care about the other fellow, don’t delude yourself that it is only the other fellow that you don’t care about because he is some other fellow. Not at all! If you don’t care about this other fellow, this indicates that you don’t care about yourself, either. That is why you are able to remain unaffected by his sorry state, and react merely by a gesture of despair and a sigh.

This is what the verse tells us: When you see a man who is denuded of Torah and its commandments, you are obligated to clothe him in the garments of Torah and its commandments. His predicament should really matter to you. You should ponder and know what caused him to become so naked, and (with G‑d’s help) seek ways to bring him back to the Torah and the mitzvos — with compassion, and love, and fellow-feeling.

As we just said, if you are left unaffected you should search for faults within yourself. And when you care enough about your own spiritual state (“...nor should you ignore your own flesh”), you will care more about the other fellow and be able to do him a favor with regard to Yiddishkeit.

Our people should really set up a Malbish Arumim society,51 to clothe young people in tzitzis and tefillin. Every chassid should influence his environment, far and near, to bring people closer to the paths of the Torah and the commandments.

10. Misconceptions about Shabbos observance

It is painful to say this, but it must be said and it must be publicized in all the streets of all the towns and everywhere: The cause of the poverty which is prevalent in this generation is the desecration of Shabbos. It can be plainly seen that when Shabbos is desecrated, nothing comes of the money earned. People like to think it’s a financial crisis and the like, but the truth is that desecrating Shabbos ruins people’s livelihoods and brings about poverty (Heaven forfend!).

An hour before candle-lighting time people should be free of all their affairs, so that Shabbos is present in the store, at the business, and at home. Shabbos brings about marital harmony and Jewish children. The delight of Shabbos becomes deeply rooted in children’s heads and hearts. Shabbos brings blessing and success. And one’s Shabbos should be “A Shabbos unto G‑d,”52 with more time than usual devoted to learning and davenen, and not simply to sleeping.

Every Jew and Jewess is obliged to sanctify the Shabbos and also to influence others to do likewise. Everyone, learned or otherwise, is obligated to speak with people he knows and with people he does not know, so that they too will observe Shabbos as it ought to be observed.

All Jews are brothers.53 All Jews (May they all be blessed with good health!) are like one family. To love a fellow Jew is one of the positive commandments,54 and every Jew should cherish any other Jew like his own father or mother or child. And the observance of Shabbos affects the material success of the House of Israel in its entirety. If the holy Shabbos is observed, G‑d will open up the conduits of prosperity for them all, and they will be blessed with all manner of good things.

One should approach a fellow Jew and say: “You don’t want to be poor, G‑d forbid, nor do I want that to happen. Observe Shabbos, and then G‑d will see to it that whatever you have amassed will remain intact. You know that this is a circular affair, and circular things have to be carefully guarded. But how can a man watch over himself? That’s what G‑d has to do. So you observe Shabbos, and G‑d will watch over you and your family and your property, and will grant you prosperity.”

People whose heads are airy and lightminded always have a ready answer: “But what can be done? You yourself know what times we are living in; it’s a must! If I were to observe Shabbos I wouldn’t make a living!” One has to explain to such a person that he is living in an illusion; he should place his trust in G‑d Who “Provides nourishment and sustenance”55 and “Gives bread to all flesh.”56 One should point out to him that he is placing his trust in illusions, instead of heeding that which is crystal clear.

One should tell him: “As everyone knows, no securities are utterly secure. You yourself know that there have been rich and honest people and prospering bankers who in the wake of a war or whatever were left without security; they were no longer wealthy; their capital fell apart and vanished. Despite all that, you continue to entrust the couple of rubles that G‑d has given you in the same kinds of securities! In them you trust! Why don’t you trust that G‑d, Who was and will be unshakable, will give you a living if you keep Shabbos and set aside times for studying Torah?”

11. Keep on growing!

The Rebbe turned to address the following remark to some members of Tzeirei Agudas Yisrael, the Agudas Yisrael Youth Organization, who were present at the farbrengen:

Tzeirei Agudas Yisrael! The trouble with you folk is that you consider that you are still young, so that whatever you accomplish is enough. For a child, his juvenile mind suffices — but one must grow. You are now adults, thank G‑d, so one really ought to study diligently and advance in his awe of Heaven.

12. Purim and Chanukah

One of the chassidim present asked the following question: “What is the difference between Chanukah and Purim? After all, there was self-sacrifice at the time of Chanukah, too.”

The Rebbe replied:

Of course the two kinds of mesirus nefesh are different, but the distinction cannot be expressed in intellectual terms alone.

Suppose someone asks an expert as to the difference between two pearls. The distinction, of course, originates in the expert’s mind, but it finds expression through what the eyes can see. So if the questioner has the pearls in front of him, the distinction can be explained to him — but if he doesn’t own them and he can’t see them, you can’t explain the distinction....

The major message of Purim is alluded to in the verse that begins, Vekibeil haYehudim: “The Jews accepted what they had already begun to do.”57 [This verse can be interpreted to mean that at the time of Purim, in the era of exile, the Jews accepted and internalized what they had begun previously,58 at the time of the Giving of the Torah.] Now, if the subject (HaYehudim — “The Jews”) is plural, why is the verb (vekibel — “accepted”) singular?

The answer is that all the Jews received the Torah. (This is “what they had already begun”; hence “Jews” and “had begun” are plural.) However, when it comes to fulfilling (“accepting it”), this must be done by every individual separately; hence the singular form.

And when each individual fulfills his task, this adds strength and health and sustenance to all other Jews.

As to the plain meaning of the above verse in one’s actual, practical, day-to-day life: The verb הֵחֵלּוּ (translated as “had begun”) shares a root with חוֹל, signifying anything which, like weekdays, is unsanctified. The verse thus intimates that the people of that time now undertook to correct the spiritual damage that was caused when they had rendered certain things unholy. (The verb לַעֲשׂוֹת — “to do” — also implies “to correct.”59) This correction and restitution they did with self-sacrifice — and they were found worthy of being redeemed.

May G‑d grant Jews the strength to overcome all Hamans. May He cut off the horns of the wicked,60 while the horns of the righteous will be exalted — “and Your people are all righteous.”61 And may we be found worthy of a complete Redemption, speedily and in our own days, Amen.