Written by: Roee Raviv, Current Mayanot Men's Program Student
I am currently learning at Mayanot and would like to share a teaching from the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Something that I have learnt recently, about the magnitude of the Simcha (joy) we experience on Purim and of a Jew’s constant state of self-sacrifice for Hashem (G-d) as Purim quickly approaches here in the Holy Land and also around the globe.
I was given the opportunity to connect with Chabad On the Coast in Tel Aviv, after which I made Aliyah and then decided to attend the Mayanot Institue of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, exactly a year ago last Purim. Mayanot has changed my life and my relationship to Yiddishkeit (Judaism). Most importantly it has made me proud to be a Jew and has helped me grow in my love for G-d and others. I realize now that I have always been loved by G-d regardless of my religious affiliations, so too the way G-d loves all of his children, and since coming to Mayanot I have been able to slowly break down many of the walls within myself and open up space in my heart. The more of a space I open the more true Simcha I am granted. I definitely want to Thank Mayanot for that.
This is a beautiful concept I think all can enjoy, about the wonderful joy one can experience on the special holiday of Purim: The Simcha of Purim is much greater than the Simcha of a regular Yom Tov (Holy day), even though on Yom Tov we have a commandment from the Torah to be in Simcha we do not have an obligation to drink wine, but on Purim we have a Mitzvah and even an obligation to drink “until you can’t tell the difference.”
Hashem created the world in order for His G-dly light to vitalize the world, to contract and draw down to this world in a measured and leveled manner. On Yom Tovs we are fortunate to receive an elevated level of His G-dly light which causes us to have an elevated level of Simcha. Despite the unique G-dly light that Hashem grants us on Yom Tov, the Simcha we experience is nonetheless measured and limited because the G-dly light is measured and limited.
Purim was established in memory of the miracle that occurred for the Jewish people, due to their self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice is not based on logic or understanding, it is much higher than logical reasoning and shatters limitations. So too the Simcha of Purim is not ordered or measured by the laws of creation, rather it is a Simcha loftier than all restrictions, logic and understanding to the level of “until you can’t tell the difference.”
Even though the Simcha of Purim is much greater than that of Yom Tov, we are commanded to prepare an extravagant feast and party which are limited and measured and so too we are allowed to work (do melacha) on Purim, unlike on Yom Tov. This shows us that even in a time of feasting and partying and even when we are allowed to engage in work/ melacha, we are still in a state of self-sacrifice “until you can’t tell the difference” and this self-sacrifice is brought into all of our actions.
Even in a time of feasting, or a time of mundane work, nothing should interest us more then doing mitzvot and connecting with Hashem. As the Alter Rebbe (the First Chabad Rabbi) would say, “I do not desire anything, I do not want your Gan Eden, I do not want your world to come, I only want you Hashem! “
I hope that this Purim everyone can internalize within themselves the presence of Hashem and ‘to know Hashem in all their ways’. Hashem shines his light on us all and invites us to get to know Him as I have recently learnt, and could not be more grateful for this opportunity to share and spread Torah, joy and a sliver of my Mayanot experience. With G-d’s help this Purim we will all reach levels of unrestricted and boundless Simcha and we will rejoice with Mashiach in the Beit Hamikdash Ha’shlishi.