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Spiritual Growth for Jews

Can We Commit to True Unity for Purim?

Posted on | February 20, 2013 | By Administrator | 10 Comments

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato writes in “The Way of G-d”:

…Purim involved Israel being saved from destruction during the Babylonian exile. As a result of this they reconfirmed their acceptance of the Torah, this time taking it upon themselves forever. Our Sages teach us that “they accepted the Torah once again in the days of Achashverosh”. The details of the observance of both these festivals are related to the particular rectification associated with them.

To accept the Torah on Sinai we needed to be united as if the entire nation was “One Man with One Heart”. On Purim, when we re-accept the Torah, we once again achieved that unity in the face of annihilation.

The mitzvos of the day, charity to the poor, giving gifts of food, a meal with family and friends give us actions leading to unity. But we also need to be united in thought and emotion.

Can we commit to true unity for Purim?

Can we focus on the successes, and financially and emotionally support all our local institutions who are truly there to serve us?

Can we convince ourselves that it’s not really a big mitzvah to air every piece of dirty laundry Ad infinitum?

Can we support those dedicated to spreading Torah to our fellow Jews, without undermining them by questioning their effectiveness?

Can we commit to true achdus?

Any suggestions on small steps we can take on that path?

Comments

10 Responses to “Can We Commit to True Unity for Purim?”

  1. Bob Miller
    February 20th, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    It’s possible that the lack of proper reflection on the dangers of assimilation led to the danger posed by Haman. Mordechai was a boat rocker opposing the comfortable consensus, and many who were caught up in the love-fest with the Persians criticized him for that. So we should know now that there is some limit to discussing only the positive.

  2. Mark Frankel
    February 20th, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    Mordechai was the greatest man of his generation. Boat rocking rooted in greatness, is miles apart from boat-rocking rooted in the ability to criticize.

    I think that even when we discuss the negative, it should be from a positive framework of care, understanding and connection. Torah based rebuke requires a positive framework.

  3. Bob Miller
    February 20th, 2013 @ 10:51 am

    Obviously, criticism from any level has to be rooted in love. I haven’t seen anyone defend criticism that would be unproductive.

  4. Mark Frankel
    February 20th, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

    I think the people giving criticism, usually feel that it is productive and serving a good purpose. Other people and groups might feel that it is unproductive or perhaps damaging.

    Do the public critics stop and think that they are doing damage? Do they ask questions to great people who have heard both sides of the issue, including those who feel they are being damaged?

    I was recently involved in one such issue and the lack of introspective or consideration of damage being done was frightening. It seemed that they really didn’t care because they thought their criticism was so important.

    My hope is that the public critics find away to deliver their criticism so that it can be accepted, so that it can be productive in actuality, and not damaging.

  5. Bob Miller
    February 20th, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

    Mark, can you provide any further detail on the issue you described?

  6. Mark Frankel
    February 20th, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

    Bob, I don’t think sharing further detail would be productive.

  7. Neil Harris
    February 21st, 2013 @ 1:49 am

    Firstly, I am floored by the mature way that the “Administrator” took the high road in addressing several issues. Yashar Koach!

    I think that all of the questions (and answers) are rooted in understanding Knesses Yisrael, the Jewish people as a whole. Whenever I have a problem with anyone, it’s usually because I have forgotten about the innate kedusha within the person and that they are part of Klal Yisrael.

    This has to start at home. Just like we all try to talk about Hashem in our homes, we have to speak about the Congregation of Yisrael, as a people with a defined mission in the world.

  8. David_L
    February 22nd, 2013 @ 8:56 am

    I contribute to Jewish unity by participating in Daf Yomi. :)

    “What a great thing! A Jew travels by boat and takes gemara Berachot under his arm. He travels for 15 days from Eretz Yisrael to America, and each day he learns the daf. When he arrives in America, he enters a beis medrash in New York and finds Jews learning the very same daf that he studied on that day, and he gladly joins them. Another Jew leaves the States and travels to Brazil or Japan, and he first goes to the beis medrash, where he finds everyone learning the same daf that he himself learned that day. Could there be greater unity of hearts than this?”

    Rabbi Meir Shapiro
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daf_Yomi
    http://www.hevratpinto.org/tzadikim_eng/159_rabbi_meir_shapira.html

  9. Ron Coleman
    February 27th, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

    No, we cannot commit to true unity for Purim.

  10. AMG
    February 27th, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

    There was not true unity at the end of the Purim episode, since Mordechai only became worthy in the eyes of the majority of his brethren, and not all of them. Unless, however, you say rubo k’kulo, but then that directly contradicts the Chazal.

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