Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Way of G-d

Part 4: "Divine Service"
Ch. 8: "Seasonal Mitzvot"
Paragraph 3

Like all others before and since, the struggles for Jewish survival that we commemorate on Chanukah and Purim had their military battlefields and their spiritual ones. But Chanukah and Purim were unique in one way: they allowed G-d's celestial light to spread on a clear and unambiguous level, and to bring on some unique and vital rectifications.

On a military level, Chanukah commemorates the victory of the Hasmoneans (the band of virtuous Jewish loyalists headed by Judah Macabbee, the Kohen) over Antiochus (the Syrian leader of the Greek forces), while Purim concentrates on Mordechai's bold defeat of the wicked Haman's followers.

But on a spiritual level Purim came down to a battle for the preservation of the Jewish Nation, while Chanukah focused on the fight to withstand the forces of assimilation. For Haman and his cohorts wanted to destroy the Jews en masse, while the Syrian-Greeks wanted to have them merge into Greek culture and abandon the Torah.

With G-d's help, the Hasmoneans managed to defeat the forces of assimilation and to bolster Torah observance. And they did that by drawing upon the holiness of the Menorah in the newly-reconsecrated Temple (the site of the miraculous flask of oil that stayed lit for eight days), which was emblematic of the emanation of G-d's light in the world.

And Mordechai and Esther managed to thwart Haman's wicked plans to destroy us. By drawing upon the light that emanates from G-d's Torah they also inspired us to bolster our observance of it and to reaffirm our commitment to it from that time onward.

Since the miracles and victories of both Chanukah and Purim are rooted In G-d's emanations, all the mitzvot associated with them are thus either directly or indirectly pertinent to light (E.g., lighting the Chanukah menorah, expressing the "light, gladness, joy, and honor" [Esther 8:16] of Purim), or to emanation and bestowance (E.g., the giving of gifts to friends and others on both occasions, the Purim feast).


Text Copyright 2004 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON PESACH AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

The Real Us!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Pesach Weather
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

To Be Chosen Again
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Beginning with Matza
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Next Year In Jerusalem - If...
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Chased by the Taste
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

ArtScroll

Liberate Yourself!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Another Link in the Chain
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

The Great Shabbos
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Kid Tips
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

The Eternal Impact of the Exodus
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

Break Free!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

> Worth the Struggle
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Telling Others
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

The Questioning Defense
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5764



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information