Moshe Stempel – Purim And Pesach

Our Sages tell us that we are supposed to increase our level of joy when the month of Adar arrives. This is because the month of Adar ushers in the miraculous times of Purim and Pesach.

In Mesechta Rosh Hashanah, there is a Tannaic debate as to when the world was created. R’ Eliezer maintains the view that the world was created in the month of Tishrei. On the other hand, R’ Yehoshua maintains that the world was created in the month of Nissan. Tosafos reconciles these two views by explaining that G-d had the intent to create the world in Tishrei but didn’t create it in a physical sense until Nissan.

The Sfas Emes explains that the name “Elokim” is used to describe G-d in the account of Creation since G-d originally intended to create the world subject to the attribute of strict justice. However, when G-d created the world in a physical sense, He realized that it could not continue to exist unless He exercised His attribute of compassion. Therefore, the name “Hashem” is used in the Torah to describe G-d later on in the Torah.

R’ Akiva was such a great individual that he was able to live subject to G-d’s attribute of strict justice. For this reason, he met such a terrible fate at the hands of the Romans, despite his tremendous righteousness. Based on the mystical concept of G-d’s original intent before He created the world, there are those who maintain that thought has a certain superiority over deed. For this reason, the thought of transgressing a certain precept of the Torah is on some level more severe of a transgression than performing the transgression itself.

When repenting for our sins, there are two forms that our repentance can take: repentance out of fear and repentance out of love. Repentance out of fear requires that one regret his past misdeeds, completely reform his behavior, and break his negative attitudes and habits. This is a very difficult form of repentance to do. Repentance out of love, on the other hand, is done out of appreciation for miracles that we experience. When G-d performs a miracle to give us a new lease on life, we can receive atonement for all our past misdeeds if we use our appreciation to sing praises to G-d and to repent. After contemplating all the miracles that took place for our ancestors at this time of the year, it is our obligation to repent out of love to G-d.

R’ Bamberger related that he once witnessed a large black SUV skid on a patch of ice and slam into six cars. There was broken glass everywhere and car parts littered the entire street. R’ Bamberger was amazed when the driver of the SUV walked out of his vehicle a few seconds later and called his employer on his cell phone. Unfortunately, the driver of the vehicle was completely unfazed by the miracle that he experienced.

One question remains unanswered: What is the connection between the miracles that took place on Purim and those that took place on Pesach? The Purim miracle was completely hidden in nature, while the miracles associated with the Exodus from Egypt were all openly revealed. The answer is that hidden miracles are no different than open miracles. We perceive certain miracles as being hidden in nature only because we are used to them. When a person reaches the recognition that G-d controls every aspect of Creation, he will undoubtedly repent out of love for G-d.

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