Rav Avigdor Miller on the Real Lesson of Purim

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Q:
The Rav spoke tonight about the lesson of Purim being the internalizing of how much Hashem loves us and our responsibility to love Him and to love the עם ישראל (TAPE E-225 “I Love Your People Yisroel”). But isn’t it possible to say that the שמחת פורים  is because of קיימו וקיבלו, that the Jewish Nation was מקבל  the Torah באהבה  after the נס  of פורים?

A:
The answer is yes, no question about it. I want to tell you something. עזרא הסופר came along and the גמרא  says ראוי היה עזרא שתנתן התורה לישראל על ידו. That the תורה could have been given to us through עזרא .עזרא  made a tremendous change in כלל ישראל. Before עזרא, you didn’t have to daven שחרית, מנחה ומעריב. You didn’t have to make a ברכה. A בורא פרי העץ  or המוציא לחם מין הארץ  wasn’t a requirement. Of course, people were מתפלל to Hashem. And people thanked Him for the food. But there was no חיוב  to daven three times a day or to make ברכות. And מוקצה  as well. Many types of מוקצה  were מותר.

And עזרא came along with the אנשי כנסת הגדולה  and they made a whole list of תקנות חכמים. He changed the entire צורה  of being a Jew. עזרא changed everything because he saw that with the Jews being in גלות, they needed a סייג לתורה, a fence around the תורה, otherwise who knows what’s going to happen to us. So he made fences around the תורה. So עזרא actually came with a new תורה  for כלל ישראל. Now, it wasn’t actually new. It’s אסור  to be מוסיף, but he made איסורי דרבנן. He said that it’s all מדרבנן  but it’s a סייג, a fence, to protect the תורה – to protect the עם ישראל.


Now, how could he get the כלל ישראל  to accept that. You think it’s easy?! We’re a stubborn nation. It’s a tremendous change! How did עזרא  succeed? פורים  came along, and there was such a love for Hashem, that קיימו וקיבלו, they accepted that. Not only did they accept the old תורה  again, but they accepted it with such a willingness that they now took upon themselves all the new תקנות  of עזרא, to be מקיים  them. So on פורים  the תקנות  of עזרא  were finally given the  חוזק needed to remain with כלל חשראל  forever. So you’re asking if we celebrate that? Absolutely we celebrate that. No question about it.


But you have to know, that that’s only אגב אורחא. That’s not the main idea of פורים. That’s not an open פסוק. That idea of קיימו וקיבלו  is not the plain פשט.The  פשט  in that פסוק  doesn’t mean that they were מקבל  to be מקיים  the תורה. It’s a good דרש and it’s true, but it’s not the original פשט  of the פסוק.


And therefore the most important lesson of  פורים  is something else. That הקדוש ברוך הוא  is אוהב עמו ישראל. That is the lesson of פורים. That הקדוש ברוך הוא  loves the עם ישראל  more than anything else. That’s the main lesson of פורים. That’s the main lesson! Other things, what you hear in other places, it’s true also. Could be. But the main lesson of פורים  is that   הקדוש ברוך הוא is  אוהב  the עם ישראל.


Of course, as a result of that, we’re more loyal to Him. We’re  מקבל to do everything now, because He saved us. Of course, that was a result of the שמחה  that we had when we saw how much He loves us. But the great lesson of פורים  is just that. That he loves us. The lesson that we have to learn is that we have to love to learn the  עם ישראל  the same way הקדוש ברוך הוא  loves the עם ישראל. Hashem made a public demonstration on פורים. He demonstrated His love for us. And He wants us to follow His lesson and love the עם ישראל  like He does. We love the עם ישראל  because Hashem loves the עם ישראל. It’s a way of us demonstrating our love for Hashem. And on פורים  we have to start on our own, to fulfill what הקדוש ברוך הוא  showed us as an example on פורים.

 

                                                          TAPE #E-225