Purim\ Pesach – Redemption 2009

Purim – Pesach March 13, 2009

The thirty days that exist between Purim and Pesach bring with them an association of different ideas. For some people, it is the budding of the trees, the sweet earth becoming warm with beautiful spring. For others it’s time to start taking action in readying the home for Pesach. The feeling of coming out of the seclusion winter brings with it also can be described by many people too, a kind of redemption. If Purim has us preparing slowly towards it, Pesach brings with it a sense of immediacy, like we’re leaving Egypt RIGHT NOW! The overrunning mood of this time is making a personal appearance(whether in costume or not) in the new start of 1) the natural process of redemption and later 2) the spiritual and physical rescue that happened to our forefathers through miracles and it’s affect upon us today as we recall the coming out of Egypt.

1) The redemptive process starts first with actions we take and is confined to the natural order of the world. How does it happen? By good people doing good things, like Mordechai and Ester. By the acts of chesed and lovingkindness that we do on Purim by sending manot and giving charity, the opening is made here on earth to receive the Divine light. This process of regeneration in essence paved the road to the rebuilding of the 2nd Temple. Purim is the holiday of Joy. Our Rabbis say that being happy always is the greatest of mitzvoth. The joy we feel here despite what we are faced against, in knowing that Hashem is all good and wants only good is what creates the opening for Divine Light. This is when we can overcome the klippah (husk) of Amalek.

2) Pesach is the first of the 3 festivals but preparations for it are made on Purim. When the opening is made by our actions, Hashem Himelf pulls the opening wider and showers miracles upon us. This is Pesach. The days leading up to Pesach are the transition days from our actions, mainly prayer and good deeds, to witnessing real miracles. Last week I was at a wedding. Under the chuppah it is standard practice to put ashes on the head of the groom in memory of the Temple that has been destroyed for 2,000 years. This particular groom has the ashes of the Tomb of Joseph, Kfar Darom ( a settlement from Gush Katif ) and the Temple Mount placed on his head. Recent and distant tragedies that befell these most holy places. Our relationship with Hashem on Pesach is like a bride standing under the canopy with her groom. It is the union of Israel with God himself. We acknowledge the pain of the past but every new home being built by every new couple forming new generations is the redemption itself. We pray that the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem is restored, as well as all of the communities of Gush Katif and our Temple in Jerusalem will stand everlasting.

3) We pray for the final redemption to take place when “God will be king over all the world, on that day, God will be one and His Name one” (Zecharia 14:9). Shabbat Shalom, Leah Goldsmith

Shabbat Shalom Leah Goldsmith

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