Rubbing Elbows with Hierarchy

Prince Charles, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, and England’s former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, were flying back to England together from Israel, after attending Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin’s funeral. It was afterall, incumbent upon them, to show their honor and respect for the elder statesman after his tragic death.

The friendship that began

Rabbi Sacks recounted that he had brought a Chumash (a Torah in printed and bound form) with him and started studying on the flight. Tony Blair looked at the book and saw the Hebrew text with Hebrew notations written all around the text. He asked Rabbi Sacks what he was reading and the Rabbi explained to him that he was reading the bible in Hebrew and went on to explain to both Prince Charles and Tony Blair the history of each and every one of the notations encircling the text and passages of the bible.

The discussion lasted for two hours and from that point on, Tony Blair and Rabbi Sacks developed a very special relationship. Prime Minister Blair discussed many personal issues with Rabbi Sacks every night before he went to sleep. From that day forward, whenever the two of them would meet they would discuss the scripture that Mr. Blair was currently reading.

One time, Rabbi Sacks opened up the meeting by asking the Prime minister which scripture he was currently reading and he answered, “Oh, now I am up to the boring stuff… you know, the stuff about ‘The Tabernacle’ that keeps repeating itself”. Rabbi Sacks pointed out to the Prime Minister that for the universe to create a finite world, the Divine only needs to spend a short amount of time on scripture.

However, since the entire purpose was for the finite human being to create and develop a finite structure that can contain the infinite presence of the Divine, this needs a lot of elaboration even if it sometimes seems repetitive.

What Purim can teach us:

The holiday of Purim, from a superficial outlook, can sometimes appear like a holiday that is just for children to dress up in cute costumes. We read a long megillah and give out food baskets to friends and clients and drink a lot of wine.

In reality, we are told that it is the only day of the year that is comparable to the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur the day of atonement.

Chasidus explains that everything that exists in the physical world, in reality, is a piece of divine energy masked and clothed in a physical shell. Our job is to develop a relationship with the Divine that allows us to go past the superficial husk and recapture the light that is trapped inside of it.

We are commanded therefore to intoxicate ourselves to the point that there is no difference between the wicked Haman and the blessed Mordechai. This means that sometimes in life we feel that we were dealt a very bad hand. We go through painful and dark experiences and we can’t understand why in the world we had to endure such dire circumstances.

The holiday of Purim teaches us that the only way for you to understand is by allowing yourself not to understand. As great as our minds are, they are still limited in some capacity. The only way to grow past this dark place is to allow yourself to let go of the compartment that the darkness of your consciousness has dug into and transcend to a higher place than knowledge. In this place above knowledge, everything is good.

By taking advantage of the Purim holiday in the way that it was intended, one can transcend to much higher and deeper places than one ever can in the world of knowledge.

In the core of the negative, there is a light to be found. In this place, there is no evil or other forms of negativity.

How it can affect your health:

In today’s world of psychology, this is known as hypnotherapy.
This type of therapy bypasses the thick wall of cognitive thought and allows one to revisit and repair oneself by going to the point in one’s life before the dark and painful experience happened.

A professional therapist can help a person in this state to repair the negative experience. As a result of this therapy done properly, the conscious mind will allow a healthy flow of emotions to flow freely once again,
Even though Haman himself was evil to his core and should have been wiped out, his essence was a divine spark. This is how it is possible that he has descendants learning Torah in Bnei Brak.

In addition, one of the most cherished vessels discussed in this week’s Parsha was the copper sink. The sink was cherished so much by the divine since the holy priests would simply wash their impure hands and feet with water and return to their natural state of purity.

This is to remind us that no matter what we have done in our past, we have the ability to wash away the darkness and return to our natural state of purity.

Have a wonderful Shabbos.

Yitzchok Friedman

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