Alcohol on Purim
Why is there a mitzvah toget inebriated on Purim?
(Basedon thewritingsofR.ChaimFriedlanderinhisbook“Sifse...
Rava says: A man is obligedto get inebriated(l’visumi)
until hecannot distinguish between “cursed is Haman,”
and “Blessed ...
Whyis there a mitzvah to get drunk!? Isn’t Judiasmabout
elevating humanity, not degradingone’sself?
Whyis the word“l’visum...
“A manis obligedto get inebriatedtill hecannot
distinguishbetween“Cursed is Haman” and “Blessed is
Mordechai”
This means o...
G-d’s mercy is the source of the “bad” that happens,as
wellas the “good”.
The followingare a few examples of this fromthe
...
The very gallows which Haman prepared for
Mordechai were used to hang Haman himself!
Hamanadvised King Achashvairoshtokill Vashti.Andbecauseof
this, Esther becamethe Queen andsaved us from Haman!
Becauseof theJews’ participationin Achashvairosh’sgreat
feast,G-ddecreed they bedestroyed through Haman.
But it was at tha...
So what didthe Vilna Gaon mean when he said we
shouldn’tdifferentiate between the punishmentof
Haman and the great reward ...
We shouldn’tsee a difference betweenthe goodand the
bad that happenbecause, as the Megillahshows, they are
bothtwo sides o...
Whydo we have to hear about the personal
punishmentof Haman?
Or about the personal reward for
Mordechai?
Isn’t G-d saving the Jewish people from death
enough for us?
The personal rewards and punishments themselves
teach us tosee G-d’s compassionto us in the “bad” that
He does as well as ...
Sowhat does it mean not to know the differencebetween
“Cursedis Haman” and “Blessed is Mordechai?”
Wemust see how G-d’s name is
sanctifiedthrough the
punishment of thewicked (the
“Cursed is Haman”)just as much
as we seeit...
Now why does
the Rava say
“l’visumi” to
mean
inebriated?
Because “l’visumi”means not only “drunk”
but also “to sweeten.”
We“sweeten”the “bad”when we digdeepdown to
appreciatethe “good” within it.
How does wine helpyousweeten sadness and see the
goodness that comes from it?
Wine gladdensthe heart of man Psalms 104
Wine helps yourelaxand lookbeyondthe surface to see the
goodin“bad” situations.
So if you can use wine tolet go of
your preconceived notions on
Purim andsee the sanctification
of G-d’s name in the “good...
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Chayav Inish L'Visumi - Sifsei Chayim

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This is an outline of a piece in Sifsei Chayim by Rabbi Chaim Friedlander, the former Mashgiach of Ponovich

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Chayav Inish L'Visumi - Sifsei Chayim

  1. 1. Alcohol on Purim Why is there a mitzvah toget inebriated on Purim? (Basedon thewritingsofR.ChaimFriedlanderinhisbook“SifseiChaim”)
  2. 2. Rava says: A man is obligedto get inebriated(l’visumi) until hecannot distinguish between “cursed is Haman,” and “Blessed is Mordechai.”-Megillah7b
  3. 3. Whyis there a mitzvah to get drunk!? Isn’t Judiasmabout elevating humanity, not degradingone’sself? Whyis the word“l’visumi”used instead of the normal Hebrew word “l’hishtakair”? What’s the difference?
  4. 4. “A manis obligedto get inebriatedtill hecannot distinguishbetween“Cursed is Haman” and “Blessed is Mordechai” This means one shouldn’tbe able to distinguish between the Divine punishmentof Haman and the great reward given to Mordechai. VilnaGaon on ShulchanAruch O”Ch 695:3
  5. 5. G-d’s mercy is the source of the “bad” that happens,as wellas the “good”. The followingare a few examples of this fromthe Megillah…
  6. 6. The very gallows which Haman prepared for Mordechai were used to hang Haman himself!
  7. 7. Hamanadvised King Achashvairoshtokill Vashti.Andbecauseof this, Esther becamethe Queen andsaved us from Haman!
  8. 8. Becauseof theJews’ participationin Achashvairosh’sgreat feast,G-ddecreed they bedestroyed through Haman. But it was at that feast that Vashti waskilled, setting the state for Esther becoming Queen.
  9. 9. So what didthe Vilna Gaon mean when he said we shouldn’tdifferentiate between the punishmentof Haman and the great reward of Mordechai?
  10. 10. We shouldn’tsee a difference betweenthe goodand the bad that happenbecause, as the Megillahshows, they are bothtwo sides of the same coin.
  11. 11. Whydo we have to hear about the personal punishmentof Haman?
  12. 12. Or about the personal reward for Mordechai?
  13. 13. Isn’t G-d saving the Jewish people from death enough for us?
  14. 14. The personal rewards and punishments themselves teach us tosee G-d’s compassionto us in the “bad” that He does as well as the “good.”
  15. 15. Sowhat does it mean not to know the differencebetween “Cursedis Haman” and “Blessed is Mordechai?”
  16. 16. Wemust see how G-d’s name is sanctifiedthrough the punishment of thewicked (the “Cursed is Haman”)just as much as we seeit from the rewardof therighteous (the “Blessedis Mordechai”).
  17. 17. Now why does the Rava say “l’visumi” to mean inebriated?
  18. 18. Because “l’visumi”means not only “drunk” but also “to sweeten.”
  19. 19. We“sweeten”the “bad”when we digdeepdown to appreciatethe “good” within it.
  20. 20. How does wine helpyousweeten sadness and see the goodness that comes from it?
  21. 21. Wine gladdensthe heart of man Psalms 104 Wine helps yourelaxand lookbeyondthe surface to see the goodin“bad” situations.
  22. 22. So if you can use wine tolet go of your preconceived notions on Purim andsee the sanctification of G-d’s name in the “good” and the “bad” equally, you have succeeded in not differentiating between the “Cursed is Haman” andthe “Blessedis Mordechai” in the world!

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