Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Purim

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

Reuven heard and determined to save [Yosef] from their hands. "Don't spill blood...You can throw him into this pit in the desert and you won't have to lay a hand on him." His plan was to rescue [Yosef] and bring him back to his father. (Bereshith 37:21-22)

Reuven tried to convince his brothers that he hated Yosef just as they did, and, like them, wanted him killed. He recommended that they put Yosef in a place where he would die without their intervention, rather than being the ones to shed his blood. His real intentions, however, were to return later to remove Yosef from the pit, in order to save his life.1 In doing so, Reuven showed astute persuasion skills, for he felt that were he to state outright that he did not agree that Yosef should be killed, his brothers would reject his opinion out of hand. He thus asked his brothers not to "spill blood," but he did not try to convince them that Yosef should not die. He pretended to go along with their plan so that they would be more likely to agree to his.2

Often people find themselves in situations in which peer pressure seems to "force" them to do something that runs counter to their personal standards, something they would not otherwise do. At times it is preferable to pretend to go along with the crowd in order to influence the others to improve. For example, there are those who do not wish to become drunk on Purim, yet others try to convince them to drink more. If someone is asked on Purim if he is drunk, he is permitted to respond in the affirmative even if he is not drunk at all.3 Although there is a mitzvah to get drunk on Purim, this does not mean that one may throw off the yoke of the rest of the mitzvoth.4 A Torah scholar must be especially careful to remain in control, so that the revelry of Purim does not get out of hand and the holiday does not become a day of chaos and pandemonium. For this reason, someone who is sober may say that he is drunk, in order to maintain the spirit of the day without forfeiting his clarity of thought.


1. Ramban on Bereshith 37:21-22.

2. Rabbeinu Bachyeh.

3. Maharasha, Bava Metzia 23b.

4. Rav Moshe Sternbach, Moadim U'Zemanim 6,109.


Priceless Integrity, Copyright © 2001 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org.

Subscribe to Priceless Integrity and receive the class via e-mail.


 






ARTICLES ON REEH:

View Complete List

Every Soldier Has His Own Job
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

The Love Test
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5766

Joy of Shlepping
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

ArtScroll

The Jewish Calendar
- 5773

The Tree of Knowledge
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Re’eh 5768
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The King's Children
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Even Closer to HASHEM
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Set Your Sites
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

> Let's Stick Together
Shlomo Katz - 5766

A Blessing and a Curse
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5768

Today’s Choice
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

You See?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Soldiers or Do-Gooders?
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Tough Love
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Restoring Dignity
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information