• Rabbi Rubanowitz

Purim - Ki Sisa-Shushan, 5778/2018~ “The Wizard of Ours”

Dear Friends,

Greetings on this glorious day of Shushan Purim! While I enjoy and strive to share with you my personal, and thus original “Chiddush” ideas in these messages (with today’s worldwide web access you don’t need me to repeat over what others have said), in that we actually learn from Esther that “repeating something in the name of its author” brings redemption to the world”, I must share with you what for me was the most absolutely wonderful Purim thought, encapsulating I believe the entire ideology and essence of Purim, which I heard yesterday in the name of Rav Tzvi Cheshin, a major Jerusalem Talmid Chochom and Scholar I recently have come to know and love. He is one of Mir-Jerusalem Yeshiva’s most sought after lecturers and a beloved and admired Mashpia in the worldwide Breslov community. A real hidden gem of Yerushalayim. Here is what Rav Tzvi said:

Did you ever wonder why, despite the fact that there is a general Torah/Halachic rule that “it is better to do it (the Mitzvah) yourself than through an agent”, Purim gifts of food are preferably SENT, as implied and imparted (for some authorities to the degree of requirement) by the word “MISHLOACH Manot”? [ The wordMishloach which means not just the giving and sharing of gifts of food, but of SENDING them]. Why involve a middleman in this great Mitzvah?

Says Rav Tzvi, the answer is so that we should know that (in Yiddish): “Der Vos Gibt Is Nisht Der Vos Shikt” –“that the one that gives is not the one that sends”. In other words, the insistence on receiving the gifts through a middleman or woman (or child most often!) is intended to focus our  awareness on this all important truth-We may feel that we are dealt kinds of things from all kinds of people and sources and look to whoever or whatever dealt the “gift” (or blow g-d forbid) as the source of that gift or maybe non-gift. But we must always realize that all of the “givers” of everything we get in our lives are really agents. There is a silent “principal”,  behind the scenes who is really doing the giving. Everything we get from whoever and whatever, comes from  a “sender”-Hashem himself, who may remain unseen but is behind every package we receive, big or small.

What a beautiful explanation for this unique Mitzvah! And of course, contemplating this, it is clear why that is a particularly Purim-like message. After all, Hashem stayed hidden throughout the Purim Saga. His name is nowhere to be found in the Megilla. He remained the “silent partner”, the wizard behind the curtain (L’havdil). The custom of our wearing masks and costumes makes so much more sense now, doesn’t it? We may not see the face behind the mask, but we know one is there…Indeed, the book is called “Megillas Esther”, which can be read to mean : “the revelation of the hidden”. Perhaps our very victory and salvation lied in this fact: As the Purim story unfolded, we gained the ability to see behind the façade of circumstance and recognize the presence of Hashem that never abates-that lies in and behind all that we encounter-and within every one of us.

Blessing you with a “Shoe-Shined” Shabbos full of recognition and awareness of not only of all that we have been blessed with, but of from where the blessings come!

Shabbat Shalom Umevorach!

Shalom Rubanowitz