1. In Kinyan Torah B'shmaitisa, the question from the Tur was raised: Why
is it that the brocha "sh'asa nisim la'avoseinu" -- "Who performed miracles
for our fathers" is recited at Purim, but not at the Pesach Seder?
Someone tried to answer. At Pesach we are to feel ourselves going free.
Purim, however, refers to the past. Thus, the brocha "sh'asa nisim
la'avoseinu" -- "Who performed miracles for our fathers" is recited for the
commemoration of past miracles.
Rav Horowitz, author of Kinyan Torah, showed this thinking to be incorrect.
Each of the Yomim Tovim are not merely commemorative, but represent actual
stages of our daily living experience. According to the Chasom Sofer, whom
we quoted last week, this is especially true of Purim. Purim represents
the daily miracles which we face continually.
The Kinyan Torah indicates that anything mentioned in the prayers relates
to our daily lives. The Taz (Orach Chayim 621) implies that the subjects
mentioned in the prayers arouse us to make our own personal requests.
(Kinyan Torah, Va'eira, 1)
Similarly, the Talmud in Tractate Ta'anis (4b), states: "remembering is for
the purpose of request." After we praise Hashem, it is the appropriate
time to request. The source of the concept that each person in each
generation needs to see himself leaving Egypt, is a Mishnah (Pesachim chap.
10, mentioned in the Pesach Hagada). Yet, the Tanya adds the words "each
and every day." This seems similar to the Kinyan Torah. Since the Exodus
is mentioned in the prayers daily, we need to relate it daily to our
personal lives, and continually request a personal redemption.
2. We often hear the following questions:
--Why doesn't Hashem perform wondrous miracles on our behalf? The
disbelievers would surely be convinced.
--On the other hand, how is it that we find that the Jews complained
immediately after witnessing great miracles?
The quote from the Chasom Sofer, which we examined last week, contrasted
Purim and Pesach, and concluded: Great miracles only convince temporarily.
They serve to get our attention, but do not have a lasting effect. The
Torah obliges man to realize that life itself is the miracle -- every event
and occurrence is miraculous.
The Talmud considered the events of Purim, as told in the Megilas Esther,
equivalent to a second Reception of the Torah at Mount Sinai. The first
time had been under coercion -- the second, through love and free-will.
Indeed, Maharal explained that the "coercion" of Mount Sinai was simply
witnessing the astounding miracles of that time. At Purim, however, the
Jews realized that Hashem permeated every aspect of life. In the darkness
of exile, the Jews lovingly recognized Hashem's constant miraculous
presence, and embraced the Torah willingly.
Elsewhere, Maharal relates that the ultimate miracle is the Torah's effect
upon the heart of man. For the rock to gush with water -- no miracle is
required; for your heart to swell with love, however, you must overcome
your own limitations. The miracle is, therefore, in our hands!