The Real Reason we Drink Wine at Purim and four reasons to be happy! Its Adar and Tulips at King David Gardens and Polish MP says pogroms were good for Jews, assisted natural selection and girl shot at bus stop for snezzing
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement. Now also a Blogger on the Times of Israel. Look for my column
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8 Days a Week a Succah story at Purim
An observant Jew who lived on Park Avenue in fancy Manhattan, New York, built a Sukkah on his balcony.
Some of his 'high society' non-Jewish neighbors brought him to court. They claimed that the Sukkah on his balcony was an eyesore and was having a negative impact on the value of their homes in this posh neighborhood.
In court, the Jewish man was very worried about the outcome. It was the eve of the eight-day holiday, leaving him no time to make alternative arrangements, in case the judge ordered him to take down the Sukkah.
He prayed for help. And Hashem listened.
Judge Ginsburg, who was Jewish himself, had a reputation of being a very wise man. After hearing both sides, he turned around to the observant Jew and scolded him: "Don't you realize that you live on Park Avenue, and not in Brooklyn? There is a certain decorum which is expected on Park Avenue. You have no right to be putting up a primitive hut on this lovely street without a building permit authorizing it. I hereby rule that either you remove the hut, or I will fine you one thousand dollars.
"You have exactly eight days to do so! Next case!"
The real reason that we get drunk on Purim
Most people think they know the Purim story. And everyone thinks they are supposed to get drunk on Purim, regardless of the Rabbis teaching that you are not to get really drunk, but to drink a little more than usual and go to sleep so that you don't know the difference between "Blessed is Mordecai and Cursed is Haman".
To back this up idea, every year Rabbi's teach the story of Rava and Rabbi Zeira from the Talmud:
Rava said: A person is obligated to become intoxicated with wine on Purim until one does not know how to distinguish between cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordecai. The Gemara relates that Rava and Rabbi Zeira prepared a Purim feast with each other, and they became intoxicated to the point that Rava arose and slaughtered Rabbi Zeira.
The next day, when Rava became sober and realized what he had done, Rava asked God for mercy, and revived Rabbi Zeira. The next year, Rava said to Rabbi Zeira: Let the Master come and let us prepare the Purim feast with each other. He said to him: Miracles do not happen each and every hour, and I do not want to undergo that experience again.
If you will say, how can the sages require inebriation on Purim? We know several places in the Torah that the perils of inebriation are enumerated, like the stories of Noach, or Lot. The standard answer the Rabbis give is that all of the miracles that happen for the Jews in the days of Ahashverosh happened during wine-feasts: Vashi resisted coming out....Esther emerged as queen.... and Haman's downfall also happened through a wine-fest. Therefore we are obligated to drink on Purim because the miracle happened through wine, and so we too remember the miracle through drinking wine
One is obligated to be intoxicated on Purim to the point where he does not know [the difference] between "accursed is Haman" and "blessed is Mordechai". Rama: Some say it is not necessary to become drunk so much, but rather to drink more than he is used to (Kol Bo), and to fall asleep, and while he sleeps he does not know [the difference] between "accursed is Haman" and "blessed is Mordechai" (Maharil). [There is no difference] between one who has more and one who has less, as long as his heart is directed to heaven.
The basis for this idea is, gematria. How do we know? Because the numerical value (the gematria) of "cursed is Haman" (אָרוּר הָמָן) is the same as the numerical value of "blessed is Mordechai" (בָּרוּךְ מָרְדָּכַי), they both equal 502. When we reveal their numerical values, we can't tell the difference between them.
Purim is a dressing-up festival and gematrias (the numerical values of Hebrew words) reveal that all the words in the world are just numbers in disguise.
Different words and expressions that have no apparent connection, are revealed as symbolic masks for the same number. Take the words "light" (אוֹר), "mystery" (רָז), "infinity" (אֵין סוֹף) and "Master of the Universe" (אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם) as examples. They all have the same gematria of 207. Once we know that, the relationship between the words becomes far more profound. Someone who has a penchant for gematria is constantly on a matchmaking spree at a masquerade, where numbers dress-up in ever-changing disguises, and words are exposed as mathematical calculations.
Words with the same numerical value either express a related idea, or they reflect each other as direct opposites. "Love" (אַהֲבָה), for example, has the same numerical value as "one" (אֶחָד), both are 13. Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ) and "snake" (נַחָשׁ) also share their numerical value of 358. They contrast each other.
Gematria takes us to a realm that is beyond good and evil that is not self-explanatory. So gematria doesn't prove or disprove anything. All that numerical equality between words does is to calmly point at the symbolic camouflage that disguises the same number. It's a fact that can't be changed.
Torah it says has 70 faces. Many of the above ideas are given for the reason we drink wine on Purim and get almost drunk. I however learned the most logical reason we do the wine drinking (and maybe get drunk).
Ahashverosh, the wicked King was a real lowlife. He is whitewashed in the story because
Because as the King, he had to approve the story of the Megillah while he was still alive. If the Megillah had shown how bad he truly was, it would have never made it to print.
The Rabbis teach us that Ahashverosh hated the Jews as much as Haman did, but he didn't have the strong personality to kill the Jews until Haman came along.
He was drunk all the time with wine, and mostly confused. He was an easy target for Haman to convince, because he was soused from wine most of the time.
In the final showdown when Esther comes to him to change his mind on killing the Jews, it was this drunken confused stupor that allowed Esther to convince him to save the Jews.
He still had tremendous hate for the Jews in this drunken state, but he was confused who was his enemy and who was his friend?
Mordaicha the Jew? Haman my minister who is trying to rape my queen?
Haman, Mordaicha, Mordaicha, Haman. Who is who and which is which. Blessed is Mordaicha and Cursed is Haman". I am so confused.
And this is the real reason we drink and until we are confused. We are remembering this prime event of Purim as a Zachar (a remembrance) . This was the biggest thing that G-d did behind the scenes. He allowed this drunken low life to mix up his hate for the Jews with his jealously for Haman with the result being Haman Hanging on the 50 feet Gallows.
This is the true reason for the drinking (and almost drunk state) of Purim
Tulips at King David Gardens
I don't know who sprung for it, but the Spring has Sprung with the beautiful flowers planted at King David Gardens across from our Apartment.
G-d's beauty in Splender
Ideas, that help explain how the world works
Depressive Realism: Depressed people have a more accurate view of the world because they're more realistic about how risky and fragile life is. The opposite of "blissfully unaware."
Four Reasons to Be Happy By Yanki Tauber
1) Because it's a good way to get things done.
To quote the Chassidic classic Tanya, by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745–1812): "Just like in the case of two people wrestling, each trying to throw down the other, if one of them moves with sloth and lethargy, he will be easily defeated and felled, even if he is stronger than his fellow. So, too, in battling one's evil inclination, one can prevail over it . . . only with alacrity that comes from joy, and from a heart that is free and cleansed from every trace of worry and sadness." Applies to wrestling, moral battles and everything in between.
2) Because it's a good thing to do.
Why should joy be just a tool, a means to an end? It's a good thing in its own right, a better way to be. And it's not that difficult to achieve. Just focus on all the good things you have and are a part of, and on how much more real and enduring they are than the not-such-good things. So, even if the latter are taking center stage in your life, they don't belong there. Push them off, and bring on the real players.
3) Because it's a happy time.
Being happy sometimes takes an effort to achieve, as in reason #2 above. But there are times when happiness is in the air, and all you need to do is open yourself to it and allow it to enter your soul. We're now in such a time. Our sages tell us that "when the month of Adar enters, joy increases." As Haman unhappily (for him) discovered, it's a time when good things happen to the Jewish people. You don't have to do anything to experience it—just don't shut it out.
4) Because it's what you are.
This one is not really a "reason," so I guess that means there are really three reasons, not four. The chassidic masters tell us that our soul is "literally a part of G‑d." So joy, ultimately, is not a technique to master, nor a goal to achieve, nor even a state to surrender to. It's what we are, by virtue of our bond with the One who "strength and joy are in His place" (I Chronicles 16:27). Why hide from what we are?
Shocking😱😱!!Civilian shot & killed for sneezing in Public as Coronavirus fears rises 😭😭😭
LOOK AT YOUR OWN PLATE!
Why are the measurements of the Aron Hakodesh given in fractions?
"When it comes to ruchnius, a person should feel that he is never done… he should constantly strive to attain more … because there are no limits to the heights a person can achieve in the spiritual realm." (Rabbi Yaakov Galinsky on Parshas Terumah)
Personally, when I am trying to learn Torah, the feeling of "incompleteness" is overwhelming! Am I able to comprehend? On the contrary, I feel far from understanding Hashem's Torah … and yet I am going to continue to try to approach Him!
The Torah is infinite, and I am, lehavdil, me!
"Regarding material things [however]… he should feel that he has exactly enough." Rabbi Galinsky tells a powerful story: "I was around eight years old and food (in Poland) was scarce. I was eyeing my sister's plate, thinking it had a bigger portion, when I suddenly felt a slap, and heard my mother's voice ringing in my ears: 'Look at your own plate!'" (ibid)
My friends, as the edifice of Esav continues to crumble, it behooves us to keep this perspective in mind. We have only one priority. It is not only good to concentrate on ruchnius; rather, it is necessary for survival. Last week, I cited a number of current phenomena – wildfires, epidemics, rising water levels – which threaten our physical world. There are also social phenomena, in which behavior patterns which are completely antithetical to the will of the Ribono shel Olam are becoming accepted throughout the world.
Is it surprising that anti-Semitism is rising along with rejection of Hashem's will?
The process is logical. Those who flout Hashem's law understand on some level that the Master of the Universe forbids them from acting in this way. Therefore, in order to rationalize their rebellious behavior, they try to pretend that Hashem either does not exist or that He does not involve Himself in the conduct of His world.
But this is not sufficient to assuage their guilt, because they know in their G-d-created soul that Hashem proclaims laws for this world. So they try to cover up their guilt by disparaging Hashem's representatives in this world, namely, His Children, Am Yisroel. Thus, anti-Semitism arises among those who flout Hashem's will. They denigrate us in order to try to discredit the Law which forbids their unlawful behavior.
And how should we react?
Rabbi Galinsky brings a beautiful moshul from the Chazon Ish: "When I go out at night, I notice that I have a huge shadow that follows me. [But] the closer I am to the streetlamp, the smaller the shadow gets. When I stand directly under [the streetlamp], the shadow disappears…. I learned from this that the … closer we get to the light, the more we confront our own insignificance."
For survival and security, it behooves us to stay close to the Light. The closer we stand, the more invisible we will be to our enemies, because of the intense Radiance.
"May [Hashem] shine a new light on Tzion and may we all speedily merit its light!" (Shacharis)
Polish MP says pogroms were good for Jews, assisted natural selection
Far-right Polish MP Janusz Korwin-Mikke was speaking on a news program about the 'upside' of the corona virus which he also said was improving the human gene poll through natural selection. By JEREMY SHARON
A far-right member of the Polish parliament Janusz Korwin-Mikke said last week that pogroms against Jews had been of benefit to the Jewish people since through it winnowed out the weak in Jewish society through natural selection. Korwin-Mikke, a leading member of a coalition of far-right parties called Confederation, Liberty and Independence, was speaking on a news program on the Polish Polsat TV channel last Thursday about the effects of the coronavirus epidemic. Read More Related Articles
During his interview, Korwin-Mikke said that there was an upside to coronavirus because it was eradicating the weak through natural selection and improving humanity's gene pool. Not content with these comments, the Confederation MP tried to prove his point by pointing to Jewish history. Korwin-Mikke said that murderous pogroms against Jews in Europe had a positive outcome because the weak in the Jewish community died and the strong survived, implying that this improved the stock of the Jewish people. And he went further still, saying that rabbis had even been in favor of such pogroms in order to benefit from the "natural selection" benefits of such massacres. A video of Korwin-Mikke's comments was posted on a Confederation Facebook page.
Korwin-Mikke has a history of making comments distorting the Holocaust and of an antisemitic nature. In 2013 he said that Adolf Hitler had probably not known about the Holocaust, and in 2019 protested the decision to ban Holocaust denier David Irving from entering Poland. He also accused a British Jewish activists of "working for the Freemasons" after international media organizations broadcast footage of an annual antisemitic ritual over Easter in the small town of Pruchnik in which residents beat an effigy of a Jewish man representing Judas Iscariot.
Unclaimed Loan Rabbi Meir Orlian
Mr. Phil N. Tropp was a supporter of the yeshivah where his grandchildren learned. Almost ten years ago, he had granted the yeshivah a substantial loan of $100,000 for a three-year period. However, he never demanded repayment of the loan and continued to support them with yearly donations.
The yeshivah itself, which was in a continuous financial struggle, never initiated repayment of the loan.
After many productive years, Mr. Tropp passed away. When his children went through his documents, they came across the loan document of the yeshivah.
Mr. Tropp's son Ben approached the yeshivah's financial director, Mr. Kaspi. "We came across this loan document for $100,000 due almost seven years ago," Ben said. "Has it ever been paid?"
"No, it hasn't," acknowledged Mr. Kaspi. "Phil was well aware of the financial state of the yeshivah. He knew that we were struggling, and never said anything about the loan."
"If the loan hasn't been paid yet," said Ben, "I ask that the yeshivah arrange to repay it."
Mr. Kaspi scratched his head. "I assumed that your father gave up on the loan," he said. "He came to all the dinners and contributed generously, but never said a word to me about the loan."
"Did my father ever indicate to you that he canceled the loan?" asked Ben.
"No, he didn't," acknowledged Mr. Kaspi. "However, since so much time passed without his demanding the loan, I think he meant to let it go. As his heirs, I don't see how you can claim something that he himself never meant to claim."
"Who says that he never meant to claim the loan?" asked the son. "It seems obvious to me that you should have made the initiative to repay my father, whether he demanded the loan or not!"
The two decided to consult Rabbi Dayan, and asked:
Must the yeshivah pay the inheritors the unclaimed loan?
"The Gemara (Kesubos 87a) states that repaying a loan is a mitzvah," replied Rabbi Dayan. "It is presumed to be a mitzvah d'Oraisa, based on a number of possible sources" (Minchas Chinuch #259; Pischei Choshen, Halvaah 2:1).
Furthermore, even if many years passed before the lender demands the loan, the borrower remains obligated, and we do not say that the lender forewent the loan (C.M. 98:1).
Nonetheless, Ketzos (104:2) writes that the borrower is not commanded to pay until the lender demands the loan, and he is not required to bring the money to the lender or beis din.
Nesivos (104:1) disagrees and writes that even if the lender forgot about the loan and does not demand it, the borrower is required to pay on his own initiative.
Similarly, Shach (232:2) cites from Shiltei Gibborim that if the lender does not demand payment, the borrower does not have to pay on his own initiative; and since he does not demand payment, he intends to give the lender a gift. Shach concludes that this is questionable.
Shaar Mishpat (98:1) rejects the implication of the Shiltei Gibborim that the lender forgoes the loan as a gift, since mechilah in the mind does not suffice. However, he accepts the practical ramification that the borrower does not have to pay of his own accord, since the lender is granting him grace time. Other Acharonim understood that Shiltei Gibborim also intended only that the lender is granting extra time as grace. Therefore, if the lender died, the inheritors can collect the loan (Erech Shai 339:10; Bris Avraham, C.M #5; Mishmeres Shalom 232:2).
"Some suggest further," concluded Rabbi Dayan, "that Shiltei Gibborim referred to a case where there is reason to assume that the lender knew of the loan and refrained from claiming it, but if it seems that he simply forgot, he also agrees that the lender must come to pay; but the Acharonim don't seem to differentiate" (Pischei Choshen, Halvaah 2:4).
Verdict: Although many write that the borrower does not have to initiate payment, the inheritors can demand repayment.