On Wednesday evening, February 17, Rabbi Daniel Glatstein, rav of Kehilas Ahavas Yisrael (of Cedarhurst), author, and speaker, shared part two of a fascinating virtual shiur on accessing the power of Purim. This shiur is part of Chazaq’s program of inspiring speakers every Wednesday night at eight p.m. The shiur was hosted by Chazaq, TorahAnytime, and Chickens for Shabbos.
Rabbi Glatstein began by stating that one must focus on how to support Torah during this time of year in particular. He shared a famous statement of Chazal that “Just as when Av comes in, we diminish simchah, so, too, when Adar comes in, we increase our joy.” He then posed the question, so why don’t they just say to be happy in Adar? Why mention Av at all? He shared that the Gra and the Chasam Sofer both ask this question.
He then taught that when you have guests or you make a simchah, you always have a remembrance of the Churban. You leave an open place at the table to remember it. At a simchah, we always remember Yerushalayim. Rav Yaakov Emden taught, however, that the Purim s’udah is an exception. At the Purim s’udah, we don’t need a remembrance of the Churban, because there is an obligation to drink at the Purim s’udah. The Purim story occurs between the two Temples. While we are grateful to the Almighty for saving us during Purim, still how can we rejoice when our Temple lies in ruins? This is why there is a mitzvah to drink. It’s so that we don’t really focus on the Churban. It’s covered up. So the point isn’t not knowing the difference between “blessed is Mordechai” and “cursed is Haman”; rather, it’s really to cover up our sorrow over the Churban. The purpose of Purim is appreciating Hashem’s miracle of saving us. “The objective of the s’udah on Purim is to rejoice without thinking about the Churban.” So, just as when Av comes, we diminish our jo,y because we are mournful of the destruction of the Temples, so too, in Adar we are rejoicing in the salvation of Purim and not focusing on the Churban. “This is the connection of the two months.
Rabbi Glatstein then went on to teach that four people in Tanach minted coins. One of them was Mordechai. On one side of his coin was a picture of him sitting in sackcloth and ashes, and on the other side was a picture of Mordechai being led through the street on a horse by Haman. He was the only gadol who minted coins. The Ramban teaches three mitzvos to perform when you enter Eretz Yisrael.
First, appoint a king. Then, destroy Amaleik, and finally, build the Temple. These are all contingent on each other. Mordechai’s ascent as king was not for his personal honor. He minted coins to solidify his position as king so he could rebuild the Temple. “The miracle of Purim set the foundation to be able to build the Second Beis HaMikdash.” He added that the foundation of the Third Temple is also dedicated on Chodesh Adar. Just as when Av comes, we diminish joy because the Temples were destroyed, so too, when Adar comes we add joy because this is when the foundation for the Second Temple happened and the ultimate Third Temple will be built.
Next, Rabbi Glatstein asked why is there so much emphasis in the Megillah on hanging people? When Yosef met Binyamin after so many years, they fell on each other’s necks. Yosef was crying over the Temples being destroyed and Binyamin was crying over Shiloh being destroyed. The Beis HaMikdash is called a neck in Shir HaShirim. Why is there a neck allegory for the Beis HaMikdash? Rav Pinchas Friedman taught that the function of the neck is connection. It connects the head to the body. “The neck is the great connector.” So, too, the Beis HaMikdash is the neck of the world. Hashem is our head and we are the body of the world. Our t’filos are channeled through the Beis HaMikdash. The Chasam Sofer taught that this is not the ultimate level we strive towards. The ultimate level is to be close to Hashem with the head and body connected. We didn’t need the Temple until after the sin of the Golden Calf.
The symbol for the month of Adar is the fish, which has no neck. The fish represents that we are so connected to Hashem this month that we don’t even need the connection of the Temple. Also, Adar corresponds to the sense of smell. Fragrant aromas are alluded to in the name Hadas (Esther) and Myrrh (Mordechai). When Adam sinned, this was done with all the senses except for smell. So the sense of smell maintains the purity of before the sin. Purim is a day out of the future. It’s a page out of the World to Come, so we will celebrate it after Mashiach.
This shiur can be viewed on TorahAnytime.com. Rabbi Glatstein’s sefer Magid HaRakia: Inyanei Purim and Megillas Esther is available at www.rabbidg.com.
By Susie Garber