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Author Topic: A Purim Speech
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Linky [Smile]

I gave this speech in March or so for the Jewish holiday of Purim. This was before all the weird, religious stuff that culminated in my becoming a prophet. Reading it it is nice to remember my more innocent faith and it rekindles my faith in some deep ways.

A constant fire shall burn upon the Altar; it shall never go out (6:6)

"It shall never go out--also not during the journeys." Special care must be taken during the "journeys" of life--the times that a person ventures away from the home environment that fosters his character and integrity-so that the fire in his soul should not succumb to alien influences.

(Maayanah Shel Torah)

On the surface, this weekís parshah and the Megillah of Purim have almost nothing in common.
Tísav is mostly about the details of sacrifices. This is a very visceral, physical experience of G-d, and is dictated to Moshe directly by the Lord Himself.

The Megillah of Purim, however, is entirely different. It is a story, a narrative. And itís just about people on the surface; it is the only text we read for a holiday without G-d being mentioned once.

What does the juxtaposition of the two mean?

I think the two are two different ways of experiencing Divine Presence and that they speak to how the Lord manifests in modern world.
In Tísav, we see and do something. The Lord is quite close, and our relationship is very real, so to speak.

In Purim, however, the Lord is not mentioned at all.

But isnít this what life is like today?

ďAnd the fire upon the Altar shall be kept burning in it... and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning (6:5) Although a fire descended from heaven upon the Altar, it is a mitzvah to add to it a humanly produced fire. (Talmud, Eruvin 63a)Ē

Every day we wake up, every day we do things and live. Each and every moment is a miracle by itself, a testament to the glory of our Creator.
Yet there is a veil, something is hidden.
In Purim, everything happens by coincidence and fate. It is so capricious Ė one man plots to destroy the Jewish people because of a feud with someone, and suddenly the entire nation is in jeopardy.

This is all too real.

G-d manifests in a quiet way to ensure that His will is done. Critically, He does so in a manner that is a) impossible to clearly say is Divine b) allows for free will

Ahashverosh wakes up due to insomnia. Why that night? He calls for the Royal Records Ė what if they had brought him another book, or he had chosen another diversion? They read about Mordechai Ė and Haman arrives at just that moment.
It is a beautiful sequence of coincidences that utterly changes how the outcome happens. Free will and the ability to belief it is all accident is what happens.

Is this not how the Lord works today?

In our daily lives, we never see anything that is clearly the hand of the Lord. Yet there is this beautiful flow to how things happen and unfold.
It is as though there is an invisible force guiding outcomes.

This idea can be extended to other applications. I remember being troubled by the description of Pharoah and his treatment of Israel. There, it says that Hashem hardened his heart.

How can this be so and Pharoah still have free will?

My interpretation is that Hashem intervened much like he did with Ahashverosh. You can imagine Pharoah waking up in the night and calling for the royal records and getting told an account of how the Jews were too powerful. That, or something similar.

We can not discount the impact and power of such small events to harden or soften our hearts on a daily basis. It is perhaps there that we must look to see the Hand of the Divine in modern life.
And G-d spoke to Moses, saying: Command Aaron and his son... this is the law of the ascending offering... (Leviticus 6:1-2)

The expression tzav ("command") implies an urging for now and for future generations.
(Torat Kohanim; Rashi)

In this day and age, the real struggle is remembering the lesson of Tísav. That we are still required to look for and find the presence of the Lord even when we do not have the same sacrifices, or the explicit miracles that used to occur.

It is easy to lose faith. But I believe that if we look in our lives as we look at the Megillah, we will see an endless amount of similar coincidences. Small things that shape our lives and that we do not appreciate.

It is there that we can see the Hand of the Lord. We do not see the name of Lord in the Megillah, and we do not see His presence in our daily living; yet we can not forget that It is there.

Candlelight by the Maccabeats (just for fun)

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This is the most random thing I have ever seen.
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It's not that random. It's a cry in the wilderness, really.

It actually makes me wonder whether anyone's talked to Lisa recently.

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I swear I've seen that Candlelight video somewhere before.
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Member # 4752

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This was random before I knew Mial was Phanto.

I was like - what is this speech doing on hatrack...and then I saw candlelight...and I was like...woah. And then I read the other threads.

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Well watching the video again made me happy so hopefully that makes this is a net positive thread.
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The Rabbit
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Originally posted by TomDavidson:
It's not that random. It's a cry in the wilderness, really.

It actually makes me wonder whether anyone's talked to Lisa recently.

Lisa posted at sakeriver yesterday.
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