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Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
Pesach To Purim, From Four Cups To Four Gallons...
Like every year after Purim I wake up the next day and wonder what went wrong.  Looking at the Yomim Tovim as a ladder, explains Rav Shimshon Pincus, we start from the very beginning with Pesach until we reach the most sacred day of the year on Purim.  Even with all the Divrei Torah about Yom Kippur being almost as Kadosh as the holy day of Purim, I have never ended Purim with the incredible feeling a kedusha that I feel after Ne'ila.  In my annual disappointment I decided that while Purim may be special, I am totally lost as to how to unleash the kedusha.  The rest of the Yomim Tovim are clear enough but when it comes to Purim I am clueless.  If I drink it doesn't always come out right.  If I don't, I feel like I haven't shaken my lulav and esrog.  So what is the secret to unlocking the feeling of kedusha?

By thinking about the yearly cycle a thought came to mind which I'd like to share with you for your consideration.  Interestingly the first Yom Tov in the cycle, Pesach, is also the most structured.  You cannot eat any food without special precautions.  Every aspect of the seder is orchestrated in full detail.  Leil Seder is more loaded with ceremony than any other Jewish event.  As you go through the year the Yomim Tovim seem to relax their grip and become less structured.

The Yom Tov cycle is our growth track as a partner of Hashem.  On Pesach we are born.  Everything we have is pure Chesed from Hashem.  But like every newborn we are totally incapable of taking care of ourselves in any way.  We must follow a strict diet at our tenderest stage.  We must drink our wine, when and how we are told.  We must go through ritual after ritual to help us get off the ground.  Shavuos is our Bar Mitzva as we receive the Torah and Mitzvos.  The three weeks and Tisha B'Av are our tumultuous teenage years where we experiment with things we should not and pay the price.  Yomim Nora'im is the lead up to our wedding.  On Chanukah we learn how to survive in the dark.

After a whole year of step by step growth, by time Purim comes around we should all be Avdei Hashem.  We have made it through our training course and have grown into trusted servants of Hashem.  So what do we do on Purim, we drink!  Why?  We no longer need every step of ours choreographed for us.  We are Ohavei Hashem both inside and out.  Like Dovid HaMelech says, even if I were to try to run the other way, my feet would lead me to the Bais Medrash.   After years of Avodah Dovid's feet run to kedusha by themselves.  Purim is a day to let go and lose control.  The seu'dah is the greatest test of your internal compass and see which way it is pointing.  It is a yardstick to measure what kind of Jew you have built over the past cycle.  We drop all restriction and remove all inhibitions and sit back and watch what happens.

Study the results well and see whether you succeeded or where you went wrong.  Get ready to start rebuilding again in a few weeks, the same way we ended it, with a few glasses of wine.  Hopefully next year's Purim wine will feel far more spiritual than the wine of the Seder.  Hatzlacha Rabba!
RELATED ARTICLES:pesach  purim  shikor  Yom Tov  zmanim

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Visitor Comments: 1

Anonymous, 2009-03-13 09:45:24
What a great observation! I have been thinking about this for YEARS and never saw it addressed anywhere. My assumption is that many struggle with this concept, but don't want to admit it. I would welcome a resonse if there are any Torah sources for this topic.

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