Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thursday's Purim Tidbits

Due to the late running fast, Rabbi Frand did not give a live shiur this evening. However, the TCN network did provide a previously recorded R' Frand shiur on various aspects of the Megillah. Rather than go without divrei torah tonight, I have reproduced some of the vorts said over by R' Frand and have tied them together with a vort I heard from R' Mansour on Usual rules apply - I have attempted to reproduce the vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistencies are the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiurim and should not be attributed to the maggidei shiur.

The gemara in Chullin 139 asks - where do we see Haman in the Torah? The gemara answers by quoting a pasuk in Bereishis (3:11) where Hashem asks Adam "Hamin Ha'etz" - did you eat from the tree (the Eitz HaDa'as).

There is an obvious connection between Haman and Adam (as pointed out by my daughter Yael) as Haman met his end on the tree and Adam became mortal because of the tree. But R' Mansour had a deeper connection between the two stories.

R' Mansour explained that when looking at Adam we see that his downfall came because he was not satisfied with what he had. When Adam and Chava were living in the Gan it was just the two of them. There were animals and fields and trees and it was all theirs to do with as they saw fit. But there was one small rule - they could not eat from one specific tree. But notwithstanding their status as masters of the whole garden and the attempt to self legislate laws to keep themselves away from even touching the tree, they could not help themselves and they were evicted from the Gan because they had to eat from the tree.

We see a similar theme with Haman. The gemara in Megilla teaches that Haman was fabulously wealthy. Haman also had many children and was second only to the King in status. The King even made a law that required everyone to bow down to Haman. But all of this was not good enough for Haman. He was bothered by the fact that Mordechai, the Jew in the corner, would not bow down to him. Haman even verbalizes how this is not good enough for him as he says in Esther 5:13 "V'Chul Zeh Einenu Shoveh Li" - all this is not good enough for me. Similar to Adam, Haman's downfall came from his desire to control and possess all.

R' Frand also cited to this pasuk in Megillas Esther and contrasted Adam with Avraham Avinu. Although Haman had to own everything, Avraham was happy with what he had and expressed this to Hashem when Hashem told him that he and Sarah were going to have a child.

In Parshas Lech Lecha, Hashem tells Avraham that he will no longer be called Avram and that Sarah will not be called Sarai any longer. Next, He tells Avraham that although he is 99 and Sarah is 89, they will have a son. Although Avraham is finally going to have a child with Sarah after so many years together, Avraham does not react the way that one would expect. Instead, Avraham says to Hashem - "Lu Yishmael Yichyeh Lefanecha." Rashi explains that Avraham says to Hashem, I am not worthy of having another son, even having Yishmael would be enough.

This is the kind of person that Avraham was - the polar opposite of Haman. Avraham was thrilled just to have Yishmael and did not feel worthy (let alone harbor dreams) of another child.

We see a similar message at the end of the Megilla. The very last pasuk begins with the word "Ki" which is commonly translated as "because." But because is an answer, so what is the question?

R' Frand answered by quoting R' Shlomo Alkabetz' sefer Manos Levi which explains that the Ki is an answer to why the Jews did not harbor ill feelings for Mordechai. After all, if Mordechai had bowed down to Haman, they would not have been the subject of the evil decree. But the Jews did not have any hatred for Mordechai. Why? Because he was "Ratsui" to most of his brethren and was "Doresh Tov" to his nation. The Jews saw that Mordechai genuinely cared about all of them and that he did not act for himself, he acted for the good of the Jewish nation.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

No comments: