Make Purim Last
Imagine how you would feel the day you won the lottery! It would make no difference whether it was $45 million, $161 million or $276 million. A spirit of overflowing glee and insurmountable joy would exude from every part of your being. Undoubtedly, the unquashed, exuberant feeling would last for at least a day or so, and would only slightly wane over the next several days and weeks. In a more spiritual vein, the feeling of pristine spiritual purity attained after Yom Kippur likewise continues with us in the days that follow as we try to not let go of our elevated plane. The days after Purim are unique in that they combine the thrill of our physical lives being spared together with the spiritual elevation attained from an understanding of the Megillah’s events, and the profound lessons to be learned from the Mitzvos performed on Purim day. At the very least, we should now be experiencing the joy of being alive–and of having the zechus of making the most of our precious life through the study of Torah and performance of Mitzvos.
The Megillah relates that after Haman was advised that he was the only minister to be invited to an exclusive party with the King and Queen, he felt especially “Sameach V’Tov Lev” (Esther 5:9)–happy and glad of heart. Why was he so happy and glad of heart? Because there was no other person in the world like him–it was the King, the Queen…and him alone!
Rav Eliyahu Schneider, Shlita, explains that we, too, should feel this same elation in that we have been especially chosen–chosen like no other nation–to be Hashem’s standard bearers for the world by dutifully performing the Torah and Mitzvos. He incredibly points to the words of the Tochacha (the reproof) in the Torah which unequivocally teaches, in an almost identical language, that the reason we will suffer the Tochacha’s fate, is “because you did not serve Hashem “happy and glad of heart”–i.e., that we did not properly appreciate and bask in our own uniqueness (Devarim 28: 47)! Furthermore, in contrast to Haman, however–who lived only for himself and for his position in this world–we live for infinitely greater purposes and for eternity.
Winning the state lottery compared to the enormity of what we can accomplish would be like telling a short joke at a four-hour long Purim Seudah!
Source: Hakhel Newsletter 16 Adar II 5771