Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Coercion, Acceptance and the Spiritual Inputs of Purim

Rabbi Noson Weisz explains the spiritual input that God offers on Purim: There is much more to Judaism than the outer trappings of observance. Observance is the body of Judaism, but its soul requires the Jews to place their relationship with God at the very center of life. The observance of the commandments is only […]

Spiritual Growth Through Drinking on Purim

The Obligation to Drink on Purim The Shulchan Orach states (Orach Chaim 695:2): “A person is required to become intoxicated on Purim until he does not know the difference between the cursing of Haman and the blessing of Mordechai.” Drinking to Strengthen Our Emunah in Hashem Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz in his Servant of Hashem piece […]

Of Mice Traps and Men

One who reads the Megillah out of sequence has not fulfilled his obligation. (Megillah 17A) The Sefas Emes asks, “Why is “Purim” not called “Pur”?” Why is it called plural- Purim for lots and not lot in the singular since Haman is described as having cast a “pur” to reckon the most favorable day to […]

Adar and Spiritual Sensitivities

By Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller Today is Yom Kippur Katan. Yom Kippur Katan is a time to review the month and enter the new month, in this case Adar, the happiest month of the Jewish calendar, with a cleaner slate (after doing tshuvah), and a more open heart. Most of you haven’t heard of this, since […]

Parshas Shekalim – Restoring the Fire

Here is an excerpt from the Shem MiShmuel on Parshas Shekalim: The Power of the Fiery Shekel: … … Rabbi Meir said, “The Holy One, may He be blessed, took a type of fiery coin from under his Throne of Glory and showed it to Moshe. He said to him, ‘This shall they give.’ ” […]

O Daddy … Where Art Thou?

Tzav-Parshas Zachor 5774-An installment in the series of adaptations From the Waters of the Shiloah: Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School For series introduction CLICK By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz-Mara D’Asra Cong Sfard of Midwood Remember what Amalek did to you on your way out of Egypt. When they encountered you [lit: cooled you off] […]

American Pie Purim

It’s become a tradition here in St. Louis that my wife and I invite the Yeshiva High School senior boys over each year for our Purim seuda. Given the logistics of our house, the males gather around a long table in the den while the women watch in amusement and, occasionally, dismay from the relative […]

Fisking Uncle Moishy

Fisking is blogosphere slang describing a point-by-point criticism that highlights perceived errors, or disputes the analysis in a statement, article, or essay…A Fisking is characteristically an incisive and fierce point-by-point rebuttal, and the aim is generally to weaken the target’s credibility rather than seek common ground. This article was partially inspired by Fisking Aunt Mary. […]

The 60 Second Guide to Purim

The Essence of Purim Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato writes in “The Way of G-d”: “The significance of Chanukah and Purim is to bring forth the particular Light that shone at the time of their original miracles as a result of the rectification that they accomplished. …Purim involved Israel being saved from destruction during the Babylonian […]

Purim – It’s Not a Party for the Non-Observant

When I first came to yeshiva in Israel it happened to be this time of year leading up to the holiday of Purim. There was an interest and an excitement amongst the students and Rabbis. Since I didn’t really know what it was all about, I was kind of keeping it at a distance from […]

Inside/ Outside

Boarding the plane for my 6:00 AM flight from LaGuardia, bleary-eyed from too little sleep, I forced myself to offer a moderately enthusiastic good morning to the smiling steward as I crossed over the jet way and through the hatch. The steward echoed my greeting, then added, “You look very sharp today.” I felt my […]

However You Say It, We Wish Everybody a Wonderful Purim.

However You Say It, We Wish Everybody a Wonderful Purim. Is “Happy Purim” the traditional Purim greeting ? Well, yes. “Happy Purim” is the principle anglicized version of a number of transliterated Hebrew variations of “Happy Purim”. What are the transliterated Hebrew versions of “Happy Purim” ? There are many traditional Purim greetings in Hebrew. […]

They Don’t Make Anti Semites Like They Used To

By Rabbi Benzion Shaffier “In the third year of his reign, he made a party for all of his officers and servants, the rulers of Paras and Madai, the Partamim and rulers in front of him.” – Esther 1:2 The Megillah opens with a description of Achashverosh’s vast empire, “He ruled over one hundred and […]

Simplicity is Wonderful but it’s for the Next World!

Purim is somehow connected to Yom Kippur – in the Torah it is called Yom Hakippurim and the play on words is not lost on the Rabbis. They say that in a sense, Yom Kipur is a yom k’Purim, meaning a day like Purim, so in some way Purim is seen as a paradigm of […]

The Essence of Purim

I spent a lot of time a few years back trying to clarify the whys and hows of the mitzvah of Drinking on Purim. My Rav, Rabbi Welcher, feels that the main thrust of the mitzvah is to foster feelings of friendship and achdus in line with the other mitzvos of the day. However he […]

Purim and The Search for Yossi

“The more often and earlier a child smokes, drinks and uses marijuana, the likelier that child is to use harder drugs like cocaine and heroin.” “It’s all about children. A child who gets through age 21 without smoking, using illegal drugs or abusing alcohol is virtually certain never to do so.” “Teens who smoke cigarettes […]

Drinking On Purim – Old Lows or New Highs

Rugby and beer go together. There’s nothing like an ice cold beer after a hard rugby game. It soothes your aching, wounded body. It makes you relax. After a couple of beers you feel strong again, almost ready for another game or some other adventure. That’s the problem with alcohol, it clouds your judgment. It […]

Living History

Today I was speaking with a business associate who mentioned that his father was born and raised in Hamadan, Iran also known as Shush or Shushan HaBira–the setting for the Purim drama. Hamadan is located between Teheran and Iran’s western border with Iraq. He mentioned that his father is very proud of his birthplace–Hamadan literally […]

Who Turned Off the Lights?

Today is the first of Adar. As you are likely aware, that marks the beginning of a month of increased simcha (joy). The first of Adar is also the date that Hashem wrought the maka of choshech– the Plague of Darkness — on Egypt. As Adar begins, we begin our preparation for Purim. (I already […]

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