Moshe Stempel – Purim – True Simcha

Tonight’s vaad was based on the sefer Pachad Yitzchak by R’ Yitzchak Hutner.

In his sefer Aznayim LaTorah, R’ Yerucham quotes the words of the Alter of Kelm to every new talmid in his yeshivah. Whenever the Alter would admit a new talmid into the yeshivah, he would make the following disclaimer: “There is no guarantee that you will merit entrance into the World to Come by coming to this yeshivah. However, I can guarantee that you will never experience pleasure in This World after you leave this yeshivah.”

Through these words, the Alter of Kelm intimated that a Ben Torah is unable to indulge in his physical desires with complete enthusiasm. Instead, his conscience will always remind him that he shouldn’t be using his time like that. Therefore, any physical excitement that he will experience will not really appeal to him. Rather, only simchah of a spiritual nature will truly provide him with pleasure.

Our Baalei Mussar emphasize that fulfilling our physical desires merely whets our appetites for more physical pleasures. A person can never be satisfied with material wealth. All the Hollywood stars can attest to the idea that wealth and power often lead to divorce, involvement in drugs, and even suicide. It can’t be overemphasized that the simchah of Purim should never take the form of a secular celebration.

In sefer Bereishis (Genesis) we read that Yaakov Avinu switched his hands when he blessed Yosef’s sons Ephraim and Menashe. The Pachad Yitzchak explains that this unusual behavior was very symbolic in nature. When the Angel of Esau dislocated Yaakov’s right thigh, Yaakov demonstrated that his lower section was vulnerable to attack. This vulnerability was bound to be passed on to Ephraim. Being that Ephraim was the forebear of Yehoshua who would battle Amalek, Yaakov wanted to fortify him by placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head.

When we dance on Purim, we demonstrate that even our legs are elevated to G-d’s service. Like Yehoshua, we completely vanquish the Amalek that resides in our hearts.


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