Purim for Adults

Purim for Adults

Unifying a Scattered Nation

Rabbi Mitch Levine, Educator in Residence, Agudas Achim


Rabbi Mitchell Levine reserves the rights to all original texts and translations used in this source list.  Reuse in most circumstances is acceptable with citation and link to the landing page of this section of the Agudas Achim site.


I.                   Devarim/Deuteronomy 31:17-18a (Koren):


“Then my anger will burn against them on that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say on that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face(הסתר אסתיר ) on that day…”



II.                Scroll of Esther 3:8:



ויאמר המן למלך אחשורוש ישנו עם אחד מפזר ומפרד בין העמים בכל מדינות מלכותך ודתיהם שנות מכל עם ואת דתי המלך אינם עשים ולמלך אין שוה להניחם:


Haman said to King Achashverosh, “There is a nation scattered and separated amongst the people throughout the provinces of your realm, and their laws differ from that of any other nation, and the laws of the king they do not do, and it is not worth it to tolerate them.”



III.             Talmud Bavli, Tractate Megilah 7b:



 אמר רבא: מיחייב איניש לבסומי בפוריא עד דלא ידע בין ארור המן לברוך מרדכי. רבה ורבי זירא עבדו סעודתפורים בהדי הדדי, איבסום, קם רבה שחטיה לרבי זירא. למחר בעי רחמי ואחייה. לשנה אמר ליה: ניתי מר ונעבידסעודת פורים בהדי הדדי! – אמר ליה: לא בכל שעתא ושעתא מתרחיש ניסא.


Rava said, “A person is obligated to get so drunk on Purim that he/she loses awareness of who was the villain of the story, and who was the hero.” Rabba & Rabbi Zera made their Purim feast together and got drunk. Rabba got up and “shecht-ed” Rabbi Zera. The next day, Rabba prayed and Rabbi Zera was revived. The next year, Rabba said to Rabbi Zera, “Let’s do Purim together this year!” Rabbi Zera answered, “A miracle doesn’t happen every time.”





IV.            Scroll of Esther 4:16:



ובכן אבוא אל המלך אשר לא כדת וכאשר אבדתי אבדתי:


[After hearing an appeal from Mordecai that she not hesitate in risking involvement on the behalf of her beleaguered people, Esther says], “…and so I will go to the king, which is not in accordance with the law, and if I perish – I perish.”



Rashi (1040-1105, France): It was against Persian law to approach the king without an invitation for an audience. Citing the Midrash, he adds: Until now, Esther’s relations with the king had been against her will; from this point forward, she would have relations with him willingly.




V.               Rabbi Yechiel Yaacov Weinberg (20th cent., Germany) Sredei Aish Vol. I: 61:


במשלוח מנות טוב שיתן מרצונו החפשי, מתוך רגש של אהבה לאחיו

העברי, ואם הוא נותן רק עפ"י צווי הוא מפחית מידת האהבה. וכן הדין בצדקה, שאם הוא נותן מתוך רחמנות אומתוך אהבת ישראל טוב יותר ממי שנותן מתוך צווי וכפיה.


It is good to give Purim gifts from a place of freewill, with sincerely felt love for one’s Jewish brother. If a person gave only because doing so is a mitzvah (commandment), this detracts from the motive of love. The same is true of tzedeka (charity); if he gives from compassion or from love for his fellow Jew, then he is superior to one who gives from feeling commanded and coerced.




VI.            Midrash Tanchuma 96:10:


ר' אלעזר הקפר אומרגדול השלום שאפילו ישראל עובדין ע"ז, ועושין חבורה אחת,

אין מדת הדין פוגעת בהם, שנאמר חבור עצבים אפריםהנח לו (הושע ד יז)


Rabbi Eleazar HaKappar says: Great is peace. Even if Israel were to worship idols, provided they remain unified, they would be invulnerable to Divine justice; as it is written, “Ephraim is unified in idolatry; let him be (Hos. 4:17)”