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Purim (5765)

Each Jewish Holiday and each section, indeed each word, of the Torah holds a key to the mysteries of life and a window into the infinite.

So this year, when Parshat Tzav comes in same week as Purim it must be because there is a very important similarity between them. But they seem to be the opposite.

The word Tzav ('Mitzva') means to command and to 'connect'; i.e. connect us to the Creator.

On the other hand, the holiday of Purim celebrates the fact that we destroyed the embodiment of the anti-Semitic 'Amelek' of that era: the evil Haman and his followers.

So Tzav and Purim seem to contain opposite messages:

The word Tzav indicates connecting to good while the holiday of Purim celebrates destroying evil!

To understand this here is a story.

It took place a few years ago in an exclusive 'leftist' area of Tel-Aviv called Ramat Aviv where Chabad opened a Yeshiva for Israeli Baali Tshuva (Torah academy for late beginners).

The Yeshiva was a success from the first day it opened; young men flocked in from the area and began learning about and practicing real Judaism. This aroused the ire of two fiercely anti-religious political parties; one called "Meretz" and the other "Shinui" (which is presently defunct) and they declared war.

First, the assistant Mayor of Tel Aviv, who was a member of "Meretz", went to the owner of the building that the Yeshiva was in and offered him a free plot of land worth about a million dollars if he would oust the 'Datiim' (religious people) from his premises. It was a pure illegal bribe.

He was so sure of himself that he even bragged to the manager of the Yeshiva, Rabbi Yair Cahana, of his plan. But he didn't know that the manager had a small tape recorder in his pocket and recorded every word.

But after Rabbi Cahana had recorded him and was about to go public with the evidence he had second thoughts. After all it is not the way of Chabad to besmirch and destroy people. But on the other hand what could he do?

He decided to write a letter to the Rebbe via 'Igrot Kodesh' (one of 26 volumes of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's letters).

He made all the necessary preparation, wrote his letter, opened a book and got an amazing answer. The Rebbe wrote to someone that was embroiled in an argument that in such cases it was certainly not worth while to make war but rather friendliness and brotherly love would melt all the opposition like wax!

Sure enough, two days later that assistant Mayor was fired from his post for some infraction of a building ordinance that was discovered in his own house. He flew to Russia to get away from it all. On the plane he met a Chabad Chassid called Rabbi Menachem Shegalov who befriended him and. When they arrived in Russia, he convinced him to spend time including Shabbat in one of the Chabad houses there.

Then came the turn of the much more belligerent and coarse 'Shinui' party to attack. After a few failures they finally decided to use paid goons. They rented a bus, found a bunch of unemployed Russians, provided them with 'Shinui' sweat shirts and anti-religious posters paid them well and sent them to protest before the Yeshiva hoping that the local populace would join them.

But they didn't. In fact people from the area, rather than joining the protest began to argue with the 'protesters' until one of the pupils in the Yeshiva, also a Russian, took a bold step.

He put on one of the 'Shinui' sweat shirts they were handing out and joined them but after a minute or two yelled out in Russian, "My friends it is time to eat!!" They, thinking that this was part of the deal, gladly stopped what they were doing and gladly followed him to...the Yeshiva lunch room!

In no time they were talking and laughing with the pupils and many even agreed to put on Tefillin. So when the real 'Shinui' people arrived they found many of their 'goons' still in the lunch room wearing phylacteries - some for the first time in their lives!

Another defeat for Amelek.

Amelek is a force that motivates people to hate G-d and His people. Haman, Hitler and Arafat are examples of embodiments of this force and one of the main jobs of Moshiach will be to destroy them.

And each Jew has a small Amelek within his personality.

As the Lubavitcher Rebbe commented regarding Israel's strange submission to her enemies after defeating them;

"If Jews do not conquer the small Amelek within, they cannot conquer the big Amelek outside."

But it can only be done when the Jews are connected to G-d - or at least want to be.(That is the purpose of learning Chassidut, especially the books of the Chabad Rebbes). They have to know how good, powerful, infinitely close and infinitely far G-d is in order to destroy the opposition.

And this answers our question: only by means of really wanting to be connected to the Oneness of G-d (Tzav) can we have the power of purpose to really destroy evil (Purim). As the boys in the Yeshiva did.

May we all be dancing THIS PURIM with Moshiach who will destroy Amelek, build the holy Temple and gather all the Jews from the entire world. We just have to do all we can to bring...

Moshiach NOW!!

Copyright © 1999-2018 Rabbi Tuvia Bolton. All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction or copying of this material shall occur without prior permission.

(5760- )



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