By the Grace of G‑d
Third Day of the Week,“Twice1 blessed with good”
30th of Adar I—1st Day2 of Adar II, 5746
Brooklyn, N.Y.

To the Sons and Daughters of Our People Israel, Everywhere,
G‑d bless you all!

Greeting and Blessing:

This day—the link that connects both months of Adar, Adar I and Adar II; right in the middle between Purim-Koton3 and Purim-Godol4, which serves to underscore even more strongly the corresponding content5 of both months, that appear under the sign of the Purim miracle; thus becoming, as it were, one long month6—“The month7 which was transformed for the Jews from sorrow to joy and from mourning to a festival”;

This year, being a Jewish Leap Year8—the joy is doubled.

This day surely provides a most suitable opportunity to reflect on “What is Purim?”9 In other words, what is really the significance of Purim, which took place some 2300 years ago, in Persia and Media—for us today and here?

What is really the significance of Purim, which took place some 2300 years ago, in Persia and Media—for us today and here?

Actually, in some respects, Purim—even more than any other special day or festival in our Jewish calendar—has a special significance for every Jew, man and woman10, in the midst of our Jewish people, in the present time11 and in every land of dispersion.

Purim took place at a time when the Jews were in Golus (Exile), and even after the miracle of Purim, remained12 in Golus (until the time when the construction of the Second Beis Hamikdosh was completed).13

The Megillah relates—and our Sages explain even in greater detail—that materially and economically, the Golus in Persia and Media (the last phase of the Babylonian Exile) was not at all severe14. On the contrary, Jews were invited15 to the Royal Banquet; a Jewish woman, Esther, was the Queen16, and “Mordechai the Jew” was one of the prominent men in the Royal Court17. Yet, precisely during this time, there arose a wicked Haman who sought to “destroy18, slaughter, and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in one day!” Whence did Haman get the audacity for such a plan?

The answer may be found in Haman’s words to King Ahasuerus: “There19 is one people, dispersed and scattered among the nations in all the lands of your kingdom, and their laws are different from those of any other people.”

Haman understood that Jews are one20 people, even when they are dispersed throughout the world, and that the thing that unifies all Jews is their adherence to their own laws—the Torah and Mitzvos; and then no nation in the world can have any power over them.

He concludes that the Jews are not only “dispersed,” but also “scattered” (disunited)

However, when Haman comes to the Royal Banquet and meets there also Jewish guests; and he sees that although there is no compulsion—on the contrary, everything is “according to everyone’s wish21”—yet, there are among them individuals who are not particular about Kashrus, and who are ashamed to show their Jewishness, etc.—then he concludes that the Jews are not only “dispersed,” but also “scattered22” (disunited). Then he feels bold enough to come up with a decree of total destruction of a whole people in one day23, which no enemy of the Jews before him has ever conceived;

Till his nearest rival, the arch enemy of the Jews of half a century ago.

Comes Purim and reminds us how Mordechai the Jew, and Esther the Queen, and the whole Jewish people, “Mordechai’s people24,” responded to Haman’s decree:

Mordechai the Jew—“does not kneel nor bow down25” to anyone or anything which would make him compromise Yiddishkeit;

Esther the Queen risks her life to bring a deliverance to her people—“My life is my request, and my people is my plea26”;

All Jews join in a movement of Teshuvah and self-sacrifice27 lasting almost a whole year28, although they could have easily saved themselves by declaring themselves as Yehudim (Jews) no longer29;

Last but not least30—the Jewish children31, from the tiny tots32 of Cheder, are gathered under Mordechai’s leadership, and are inspired with the spirit of Mesiras-Nefesh for Torah and Yiddishkeit. And in their Zechus33 especially, together with the Zechus of all the Jews, men, women and children, who are again reunited into one people—one people united through one Torah, given by the One G‑d34

With the Zechus of all the Jews, men, women and children, who are again reunited into one people—one people united through one Torah, given by the One G‑d

Haman’s decree becomes null and void, and HaShem’s deliverance is complete—a deliverance not only from distress to complete relief, but even in a manner of a complete reversal35: Instead of Jews being afraid of their enemies, the enemies become afraid36 of the Jews; instead of Jews being ashamed of their Jewishness, they show openly and proudly that they are Yehudim, who acknowledge and follow the whole Torah37; culminating in: “For the Jews there was Light, Joy, Gladness and Honor38”—in all respects, not only spiritually39 but also materially.

* * *

Also in the Sedras of this week40—Vayakhel at the beginning and Pekudei at the end—the above points are indicated:

Vayakhel MosheMoshe Rabbeinu gathers all the Jews and unites them into one kohol (congregation), and they begin immediately with actual deeds: to strengthen Shabbos observance etc., to prepare quickly all that is needed for the Mishkan, and starting forthwith41 the construction of the Mishkan and all its sacred vessels.

And in the Sedra Pekudei, it is underscored, repeatedly42 many times, how each thing was done exactly as HaShem had commanded Moshe; and how the whole sacred undertaking was completed and the Mishkan was erected on Rosh Chodesh Nissan43,and immediately everyone sees how the Shechinah filled44 the Mishkan; whereupon all realize the fulfillment of HaShem’s command and promise45, Make Me a Mikdash (Sanctuary) and I will dwell in their midst—with each and every Jew making a “sanctuary” in one’s heart46, and in one’s home, and in the whole environment—through the actual conduct in the everyday life in accordance with the Will of the Creator, in a manner of “Light—this is Torah47 etc., Honor—this is Tefillin (including all Mitzvos48).”

“For the Jews there was Light, Joy, Gladness and Honor,” adding immediately, “So be it for us”

May HaShem grant that very soon indeed we shall all see the fulfillment of our prayer and request, which we say in the Havdalah, at the beginning of every week, immediately before the week sets in with all its mundane activities: “For the Jews there was Light, Joy, Gladness and Honor,” adding immediately, “So be it for us”;

And from the temporary Geulo, while still in Golus, we would proceed49, from strength to strength50, to the eternal Geulo, the complete and true Geulo51 through Moshiach Tzidkeinu, when “the fulfillment of all the Mitzvos52 each and every53Mitzvah with all its pertaining Dinim”—will be carried out to perfection.

With esteem and blessing for a joyous Purim, Purim Godol—a “great” Purim in general and particularly in matters concerning Jews and Jewishness;

/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/