We know that Purim is a time of great joy. It is also a time when people don’t take things just as seriously as they do the rest of the year. It is in this vein that Rabbi Mendel Zlotnick, the guest contributor to this “special” Purim issue of YomTov, composed his thoughts. And just remember, you never know from where you can learn something!!! With that note…
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
This passage has caused much speculation and debate amoung the commentators. What was so “great” about Mr. Dumpty’s fall? Why did he sit on the wall in the first place? It is commonly accepted that Mr. Dumpty was an egg. That being the case, how does an egg sit, anyway?
These questions are really for men much greater than we to deal with. In this humble composition, we will attempt to deal with two other questions:
1) Considering that Mr. Dumpty was a giant egg, he must have literally shattered into a gazillion pieces and lost many pints of yolk. Why did they even attempt to put him together again? Even Krazy Gluing a vase that has broken into two or three pieces is beyond the ability of most mortals!
2) Whatever reason that the king’s men might have had to attempt to reconstruct Humpty Dumpty does not explain the actions of the king’s horses: Why did they bother to try and help the unfortunate egg? Everyone knows that horses do not have that much manual dexterity. They do not even have opposable thumbs! Or hands for that matter!
The answer is that we can learn a tremendous lesson from the entire Humpty Dumpty affair. We learn how far the Mitzva of Chessed – the commandment to do kindness to your fellow man (or fellow egg, as it were), goes. Those of the earlier generations were so great that not only kings, but even the king’s men – nay, even horses! – did what ever they could to help others. Even here, where it was clearly a futile attempt, an effort that was doomed to fail from the outset, they tried to help – so great was their desire to do kindness – the Mitzva of Chessed.
For questions, comments, and topic requests, please write to Rabbi Yehudah Prero.