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 KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Tough Love
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

The Bond that Ties - Prayer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

The Time Is Now
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Close Only Counts in Horse-Shoes
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

We're Our Own Enemy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

You Can
- 5773

ArtScroll

The Focus of Rosh HaShana
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Say It with Chumros
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Love, Awe, Humility, Wisdom, and Birds
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

> Elul
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5755

Gratitude - A Hereditary Trait?
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

A Time for Fear, A Time for Joy
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

To Begin--to Cook from Within
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Recognition of Good
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Rabbi Frand on Rosh HaShana
- 5769

Don't Forget to Say Thank You
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762



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