Purim’s Golden Opportunity – DON’T MISS
A number of years ago, a few days after Purim, I attended a wonderful shiur from Rabbi Safrin where he elucidated an incredibly powerful message that I wish I had heard before Purim – so I wish to share it with you now.
Purim, as many know, has a similar sounding name to Yom Kippur (Yom HaKipurrim) which means, the day “Like Purim”. But what does this mean? It means we accepted G-d out of love, not out of fear. It means we saw Hashem’s hand in everything, from the rising of the sun to the miraculous turn of events of Mordechai and Esther. But it also means that we have the golden opportunity for unlimited brachas on Purim. It is the ultimate time to ask for what we want and what we need. All the Gates are open.
A couple of years ago, a few days after Purim, I attended a wonderful shiur from Rabbi Safrin where he elucidated an incredibly powerful message that I wish I had heard before Purim – so I wish to share it with you now
Rabbi Safrin continued with a Hasidic tale from the Chidushe Rim to illustrate the situation. In the old days of Hasidic Russia and Poland, Someome went to the holy Baal Shem Tov and asked for a bracha to have children. The Ball Shem Tov, closed his eyes, and looked heavenward, and said unfortunately all the gates are closed. The man cried out, “Holy Master — Isn’t there something I can do?” So the Baal Shem Tov closed his eyes, and he said “There is a man – (Let’s call him Moshe ben Chaim) in this certain village. If you go there and get a bracha from him, Hashem will deliver your wish.”
So the man went to this village, and asked to speak with the Tzaddik (Moshe ben Chaim). He was told there was nobody in the town with that name. So he called the Gabbai over, gave it a handful of rubles, and said, “The Holy Baal Shem Tov can not be wrong here. Take me door to door.” So they walked to every home in this village, with no success. It was approaching sundown, when out of the corner of his eye, he sees Moshele, the town drunk. He yells out “Moshele — what is your father’s name?” And is a drunken stupor, he responds “Chaaaiim” So the Gabbai, confused but with a smirk on his face, says “Here is your ‘Moshele ben Chaim’ – Good Luck”
So the man wined and dined, Moshele ben Chaim, bought him some fresh clothes — and then asked for a bracha to have children — which Moshele happily complied. Confused by this whole episode, he then returned to the Baal Shem Tov to update him and ask for an explanation.
So the Holy Baal Shem Tov explained. There was a wealthy Jewish man, who never seemed to miss the opportunity to do an aveira (sin). And one day, he took all of his wealth – around 10,000 Rubles – and was heading somewhere to continue his unholy business when he saw a small boy and girl in chains, being led by the local noble to the jail. At this point, the wealthy man stopped the noble and asked what why he had the small Jewish boy and girl in chains. He was told that these were the children of a Jewish innkeeper, who was seriously behind on his rent by several years – by 10,000 rubles. In the olden days of serfdom, the nobles, who were all powerful in their domains, often imprisoned Jews or their children for minor infractions, especially debt. So without missing a beat, the man gave up his entire wealth, fully paid off the debt, redeemed the small boy and returned him to his worried parents – peforming the incredible self sacrificing mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuim – redeeming the captured.
In heaven there was uproar. This man, who never missed a sin, was never expected to do such an incredible act of self sacrifice – and it was therefore decreed by the Heavenly Court that whatever this man asked for would be granted. Then the angels complained. “You can ‘t give someone unlimited power to ask for anything. The whole balance of the world would be off.” Since the Heavenly Court could not change the ruling, it further ruled that this man would become the town drunk, so he would never ask for anything serious except for a drink, some food or a coat.
This, my friends is our situation on PURIM. We have been given this blessing that our prayers will be answered, but to diffuse our wishes, we are swamped with a day of partying and drinking. From the Megilla reading to Shaloch Manos, to one party and another, and then a Purim Seuda or two, the day usually flies by like a big party . . . And we miss our golden opportunity.
So my advice is after the Megilla reading, set aside some time alone before the parties and Purim Seuda to read and focus on what you really want in life.
May Hashem grant all your wishes be granted for your highest and greatest good and may this be a transformative Purim for you and all of Klal Yisrael.
Chaim David (Eric)