[This difficulty can be resolved through the preface of another concept:] According to its (simple) meaning, the verse “And the Jews accepted what they had already begun” refers to the time after the Purim miracle [and not to the time of Haman’s decree as explained above].1 It is possible, however, to apply the interpretation of the maamar that “And the Jews accepted what they had already begun” refers to the acceptance of [the process] that began at the giving of the Torah even according to the sim­ple meaning of the verse, that this acceptance came after the miracle.

According to this interpretation, there are two dimensions to the acceptance at the time of Achashverosh of the process which was begun at the giving of the Torah:

a) the acceptance at the time of [Haman’s] decree as expressed by their self-sacrifice (as stated explicitly in the maamar [VeKibeil HaYehudim]); and

b) the acceptance which came after the miracle of Purim which is on a higher plane than the acceptance during the time of the decree (as will be explained).

A similar explanation can be offered in regard to the phrase, “crushed for the light,” pointing to two different patterns that reflect how through being “crushed” in the era of exile, one reaches “the light”:

[As explained in the Previous Rebbe's maamar,] when the Jews are “crushed,” because [of the oppression of other nations who pass] decrees against the observance of the Torah and its mitzvos (as was the case at the time the maamar [VeKibeil HaYehudim] was delivered), through their mesirus nefesh, they reached “the light.”

There is, however, another dimension to the phrase “crushed for the light”: Even when the Jews are living in a state of prosperity, both in a material and spiritual sense, [they feel “crushed,”] because of the very fact that they are living in exile.2

{[To apply this concept within the context of the Purim nar­rative:] After the Purim miracle, “the Jews enjoyed light and joy, gladness and honor,”3 in the literal as well as in the spiritual sense.4 (Moreover, “Haman’s house was given to Esther,”5 and thus, they also possessed the advantages associated with [the task of] transformation.) [Nevertheless, they were still in exile, to borrow a phrase from our Sages:6] “We are now servants of Achashverosh.”}

And this very fact, that the Jews are in exile, [is sufficient to bring them to a state where] they feel “crushed.” And through this crushed state, they reach “the light.”

To explain: The very fact that a Jew is in exile, (even when he is blessed with material and spiritual prosperity) makes him feel broken [and crushed]. For the true desire of every Jew is that there be a revelation of G‑dliness. Indeed, this [desire for] the revelation of G‑dliness affects the very essence of his being.

Therefore, the fact that in the time of exile, G‑dliness is not revealed to the same extent as in the time of the Beis HaMikdash jolts every fiber of his being, er iz ingantzen tzutreiselt; he is crushed. {This is particularly true when one considers our Sages’ statement,7 “Whoever did not [merit to have] the Beis HaMikdash built in his time should consider it as if it was destroyed in his time.”}

Even when an individual is on such a lofty spiritual plane that G‑dliness is revealed for him in a manner which resembles the revelation during the times of the Beis HaMikdash,8 the fact this revelation is not expressed throughout the world at large is a clear indication that even the revelation granted him is limited in nature. For when the infinite dimension of the Or Ein Sof is revealed, that revelation [will permeate] every place. As long as there is one place (even a far-removed corner) where G‑dliness is not revealed, the revelation is limited ([and that limitation affects] even the place where the light shines).

{This is implied by the statement in the Alter Rebbe’s maamar 9 that the Tikkunei [Zohar]10 relates that if even one tzaddik in a generation would turn [to G‑d] in perfect teshuvah, Mashiach would come. For perfect teshuvah draws down the revelation of the infinite dimensions of the Or Ein Sof, and [when this light is revealed], the revelation will permeate the totality of existence.}

And when [a Jew — and these feelings are inherent to all Jews —] does not perceive the revelation of the essence of the Or Ein Sof, he is broken and crushed. {This relates to the concept that choleh [the Hebrew word for “sick,”] is numerically equivalent to 49. [There are 50 “gates of understanding.”11 Even] when a person attains 49 of these gates and is lacking merely the fifti­eth, [he is not content with his achievements. Rather,] he is “sick” [with yearning for the revelation of G‑dliness].12}

[In a similar vein, it is worthy to mention] the renowned statement of the Tzemach Tzedek:13

We would hear from our teacher and master o.b.m. (i.e., the Alter Rebbe): “I do not want anything. I do not want Your Gan Eden. I do not want Your World to Come. I want nothing else but You Yourself.”

The fact that the Alter Rebbe made such a statement
{— [moreover,] from the expression “We would hear,” we can infer that he did not make this statement only on unique occasions, but rather would say this frequently —} and particularly, the fact that the Tzemach Tzedek publicized it, endows each and every Jew with the potential to have a similar desire, i.e., for his fun­damental desire to be that there be a revelation of G‑d’s essence.

[Moreover, this desire is so powerful] that when such a revelation does not shine forth — and how much more so in the time of exile when we are lacking [even] the revelation (of light) that existed in the time of the Beis HaMikdash, the person is “crushed.” And he requests three times (or more) every day, “May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in mercy,” i.e., that there be a revelation of G‑dliness, and [indeed,] a revelation of G‑d’s essence.

This is meaning of the phrase “crushed for the light,” that the feelings of being “crushed” that stem from our being in exile bring us to “the light.” For the desire of every Jew for the revelation of G‑dliness — and the fact that this desire affects the very essence of his being {to the extent that he is broken and “crushed” in the time of exile when there is no revelation of G‑dliness} — is an expression of the essence of the soul, the soul’s “light.” The connection shared with G‑d at this level is essential in nature, [i.e., it is not a bond between two different entities, but a single essential union].