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Parshas Trumah 5759

Outline Vol. 3, # 14

by Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein

"As Adar approaches, we increase simcha (happiness)." (Tractate Ta'anis 29a.) Rashi explains that Adar and the following month -- Nisan -- were times of miracles for the Jewish People, represented by the holidays of Purim and Pesach.

Actually, both stories -- the miracles of Purim and the miracles of Pesach -- took place over long periods of time, each encompassing the seasons of Adar and Nisan.

The celebration of Purim at Adar has to do with the decree that the Jews be killed at this time. The decree was eventually reversed, and the Jews were allowed to defend themselves.

The celebration of Pesach at Nisan has to do with the actual freedom, which was granted suddenly, immediately following the death of the Egyptians' first-born-sons.

Chasom Sofer notes that, although Purim and Pesach were discussed together, there is a great distinction between them. The miracles of Pesach were beyond nature. Temporarily impressive, they greatly strengthened the faith of the people -- temporarily. However, such miracles hardly provided a feeling of constant protection. The doubting soul questioned whether Hashem was truly watching, and the nature of Moshe's interceding -- indeed, we see that elements of the people quickly struggled with Moshe.

On the other hand, the story of Purim did not involve suspension of the laws of nature, or human intervention. One who contemplates the story will see an amazing heavenly supervision and guidance. Not that the stars have any effect -- rather, in guiding the world, He changes the order of the constellations. So it is every day with us, except that the beneficiary of the miracle cannot recognize the miracle.

The difference between the names of the months reflects the different types of miracles. "Nisan" is similar to the Hebrew word for miracles. "Adar," though, is a type of herb, as the Talmud states: One who wants to preserve his property should plant "Adar" (Tractate Bei'ah 15b; see Rashi). It grows straight, and does not challenge nature. So, too, the month of Adar did not break any rules of nature -- unlike Nisan, which transcended the paths of this world. In Adar we increase our rejoicing, because we recognize the particular, individual supervision (Hashgacha Pratis) from which we constantly benefit.

"These days of Purim shall not pass from the Jews, nor the memory cease from the children." (Esther 9:28) Two things shall not pass away: 1. The recognition of Hashem's phenomenal guidance which is inspired in each Jew at Purim, and 2. These days shall not pass ... the same direct guidance and individual supervision seen in the Purim story continues, at all times and places. It was not simply an incident which occurred once in the past, but it will never cease being so. This is the basis of our faith, as Ramban wrote (end of Parshas Bo): "One who does not believe this, has no share in the Torah of Moshe."

Drashos of the Chasom Sofer, quoted in Koveitz Ohr Yisrael (5757, vol 7).

The significance of this discussion will be examined further next week.

Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein
11 Kiryas Radin
Spring Valley, NY 10977
Phone: (914) 362-5156

Good Shabbos!

Text Copyright © '98 Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein and Project Genesis, Inc.



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