Wednesday, February 28, 2007

When "bad" things happen: Chayav Inish L'visumi

The picture is courtesy of Wikipedia and is the cover page of a copy of Kedushas Levi published in 1861.

Rav Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev wrote the following in his Kedusha Revi'is on Purim in the Sefer Kedushas Levi:

Why does the Gemara Megilla 7b state that, "אמר רבא מיחייב איניש לבסומי בפוריא עד דלא ידע בין ארור המן לברוך מרדכי," (A person is obligated to become enibriated on Purim to the extent that he can't tell the difference between 'arur Haman,' and 'baruch Mordechai.')? He says there are many reasons given, but that he's giving a simpler one. Another question he asks is why it uses the word "l'vesumi," and not a more common word like "lehishtakair?"

The Kedushas Levi says that everything bad that wicked people intend for us, Hashem turns it around for the good against their will. For example, Haman had the 50 ama high gallows built to destroy Mordechai. But instead, Hashem saw to it that he himself and his ten evil sons were hung on those very same gallows. Also, he advised Achashveirosh to kill Vashti, hoping that his daughter would be chosen by the King to be his Queen. But instead, Hashem miraculously saw to it that Esther became the Queen, putting her in the position to engineer Haman's destruction and save the Jewish people later on.

So within every bad thing and every wicked's person's plan, against his will, are nitzotzos of kedusha which will ultimately reveal that all the bad that was planned or that did happen was really the ultimate good, even against the Daas or will of the person who's acting and planning.

We therefore get drunk on Purim because alchohol takes away the connection between our Daas and our actions (K'yadua!). When we see that the way our actions come out is unrelated to our intentions and Daas, it is a reminder to us that Hashem turns around every outcome for the good, regardless of our or anyone else's Daas, intentions.

And what does the phrase, "Ad d'lo yada bein arur Haman l'baruch Mordechai" mean in this context? It means that through severing that Daas/outcome connection through alcohol, we recognize that there's no difference between the "arur Haman," the evil plans of the wicked, and the "baruch Mordechai," the plans that are specifically for the good. Hashem makes them equally for the good. That is why we are supposed to get to the point where we can't distinguish between the good and the bad things. That makes it real to us that no matter what, Hashem sees to it that everything comes out for the good.

-Dixie Yid

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