We shall end with a short idea about Purim. Esther and Mordechai instituted mishlo’ach manos as part of the Purim festivities. What has this got to do with Purim? Purim is about recognising HaShem’s Hand in everyday events. Where does sending food to one’s mate come into this?[14] We can answer via a note that was hung on the door to the Beis HaMedrash in Kelm during the month of Ellul each year. The note reminded everyone to be extra careful to create unity and foster good relations with others during the month leading up to Rosh HaShanah. What does this have to do with Rosh HaShanah? For on Rosh HaShanah we coronate HaShem as King, and in order to do that, there needs to be unity amongst His subjects - as the pasuk says ‘and there was in Yeshurun a king, when the people gathered together’ (meaning ‘when is there a king? When the people unite). The same can be said of Purim. Yes, Purim is all about recognising HaShem’s Hand in our lives. But in order to do this fully, everyone is to recognise this together - after all, the miracle took place to the people as a whole - and so we send food to each other to foster the unity that facilitates this communal recognition. Moreover, the gemarra[15] reveals that on Purim we re-accepted the Torah; a prerequisite for which is complete achdus and unity. Finally, Hamman claimed[16] that the Jewish People were ‘a nation scattered and non-united amongst the nations…and they do not follow the religion/laws of the King, and it’s not worth it for the King to keep them alive.’ As Chazal reveal, ‘the King’ is a reference to HaShem. So Hamman was claiming that we have no unity and do not follow HaShem’s Path. On Purim we make sure we ingrain HaShem’s Existence and constant involvement in the world within ourselves, and we foster unity too - thus disproving both of Hamman’s claims.

Purim Sam’each!

[14] The simple answer is that these foods are supposed to be a means of providing food for others for the Purim se’udah. But not every authority understands mishlo’ach manos this way. [15] Gemarra Shabbos 88a [16] Megillas Esther 3:8

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