The Essence of Purim

I spent a lot of time a few years back trying to clarify the whys and hows of the mitzvah of Drinking on Purim. My Rav, Rabbi Welcher, feels that the main thrust of the mitzvah is to foster feelings of friendship and achdus in line with the other mitzvos of the day. However he states clearly that drinking to the point where somebody is out of control would be beyond the bounds of the halacha.

So in line with the theme of Achdus, this is probably a good time to give a Purim group hug. To realize that we are all on the same team and that includes people following a different derech and Rabbonim giving a different psak from the one we are following.

The biggest kindness we can do for somebody is helping them get closer to Hashem and that is our primary goal here at Beyond Teshuva. Hopefully, we all realize that we can use improvement in the areas of hearing, listening, understanding and communicating – essential skills in the process of spreading Kedusha.

Let us all rededicate ourselves to Jewish Achdus as we use the holiday of Purim for the purpose it was intended.

First published March 14, 2006

12 comments on “The Essence of Purim

  1. Hope Shushan Purim isn’t too late to get into the group hug. Perhaps a virtual hug is the last place men and women can still hug each other.

    Sharing Chana’s sentiment about sharing Simchas Purim, we also were able to reach out, inviting a non frum friend, who obviously enjoyed the atmosphere, and a new Gere Tzeddik as well, who we’d never met before. It was an awesome day!

  2. “B”H my son is quite a ham and is able to pretend he’s drunker than he is. In a sense he really fulfills the idea of being happy on Purim without drinking too much!”

    Better to pretend to be drunk while authentically happy, than to be authentically drunk while pretending to be happy!

  3. Mark,awesome concept ,group hugs are sooo powerful and all encompassing with the connection/unity objective on so many different levels.One of my most comforting and I belong somewhere (used to anyway)memories of yesteryear happenstance that has always stayed with me is a New Years Eve group hug I had with group of friends , at Union Square (NYC) subway station very punch drunk at five am .That memory of hugging/ belonging and connecting with everyone is so entrenched in the archives of my memory circuity system -every time I go down those subway steps that memory pops in for a quick comfort visit.Group hugs are awesome and should be done often literally and figuretively.

  4. Chana,

    Hi there! That is a wonderful thing that you did for these Jewish families. You should be very proud of yourself. This should all teach us to reach out to all of our brethren to the best of our ability.

  5. Freilechen Shushan Purim!!
    We saw and heard several messages this year about achdus and friendship. There was encouragement not only to exchange gifts with the usual friends and neighbors, but also with other Jews whom we would not normally reach out to. I am happy to say that this year our shalach manos broke the ice with at least 2 families that we either didn’t meet before, or weren’t close to. What a wonderful theme for Purim!!

  6. Mark,

    Hi there! That was a wonderful message that you wrote here on this blog. So is a hug from me to you brother. Thanks! Kol Hakovod!

  7. Mark,

    Here is a hug for you, too!!!

    I was at a Chagiga last night, and, despite my NOT drinking (I had to drive a few blocks late at night), I had an “Absolute” ball!!! I really got into the spirit of it….the camaraderie/achdus put me on a spiritual “high”, so I felt as though I had drank a bit (especially from dancing round & round a few times @ top speed, and from the loud music). However, if I didn’t have to drive, I would have had a little liquor, but not so much.

  8. Here’s your hug.

    But there’s a “but” also. This is fine for us as adults interacting with eachother, but it’s much more complicated when you have a 15 year old son in Yeshiva. And even more so when you firmly hold like the Mishna Brurah, that drinking should be limited a little more than “normal” and many of his friends and role models are getting plastered. It’s a little harder to respect other psakim when they affect you so directly.

    B”H my son is quite a ham and is able to pretend he’s drunker than he is. In a sense he really fulfills the idea of being happy on Purim without drinking too much!

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