פורים

Raba said: A person is obligated to be fragrant/intoxicated [with wine] on Purim until he does not know the difference between ‘Cursed is Haman’ and ‘Blessed is Mordecai’

Until he does not know

Knowledge in this case is connected to acknowledging something and recognizing it with one’s eyes. Understanding, though, is in the heart. It resists being grasped visually and is only understood via the heart, which draws its knowledge from the very source of the thing.

Purim

This is reference to the lots drawn in the Book of Esther. These lots are determined by fate, which refers to understanding, and this is…

A person is obligated…until he does not know

One is obligated to not know by means of consciousness and visual recognition, but rather from the understanding of the heart one must know Cursed is Haman and Blessed is Mordechai.

This explains the custom of switching clothes on Purim.  Even without recognizing based on someone’s clothes, one can see the most base individual has the divine name manifest upon him, and thus one can truly peer into his untarnished soul.

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פורים

His closest advisers were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, etc (Esther 1:14).
R. Levi said: Every name in this verse contains a reference to the sacrifices. Thus, Carshena: the ministering angels said to the Holy One, blessed be He: Sovereign of the Universe, did they ever offer before You lambs of the first year [karim bene shanah] as Israel offered before You?

This discussion is connected to the death of Vashti, as the Baal Shem Tov elucidates on the request for her to appear naked and she did not come, that [the true] nakedness has yet to come.

God gave the Torah and commandments to Israel as vehicles, or garments, so they could grasp His blessed essence. In this reality, human consciousness cannot grasp His nature without it being clothed in materiality, such that everything we receive is robed completely in these garments.

And this is how it is and how it will be. When the divine influx descends from God, it influences by way of the Four Worlds, manifested through the Ten Emanations (עשר ספירות) in the particular way the world needs it at that time, until it arrives to this corporeal world in a way that can be grasped. This influx is attainable to all peoples of the world when clothed in these garments, but they can warp this influx into something abominable. Therefore, when the sages saw that King Achashverosh had decreed Vashti should come out naked, this indicated to them that God wanted to give Israel an unfiltered total revelation, as it will be in the future when He reveals the fullness of His light without any intermediaries. When they understood [the king’s request was mirroring a great divine yearning to be fully revealed], they were overcome with intense desire. It was at this time the sages tried to expel sexual desire from the world (B Talmud Yoma 69b).

The ministering angels cried out “How is it that the other nations are attuned to this Heavenly desire for full-frontal revelation?? Did they ever offer before You lambs of the first year…?” Israel, during the time the light was hidden from them, worked tirelessly in their sacrifices and devotion to draw the light as close to them as possible. Therefore, it is fitting that in the future God will reveal to them His light in its entirety without an intermediary, as is written in the songs of King David (Psalms 84:3), “I long, I yearn for the courts of the Lord; my body and soul shout for joy to the living God.

In this era, when it is necessary to experience divinity through the garments, I long, I yearn for the courts of the Lord – these are the garments surrounding His light. But my body and soul shout for the joy to the living God – this is my anticipation and hope for the unadulterated exposure of divine light in the future, a pure life that is The living God.

But why should the other nations, those that do not practice the devotions and do not want to commit themselves to work to bring the light of God closer, why should they have a connection to that pure revelation if they did not put in the work?

 

This teaching is more about the garments we do wear than the ones we don’t. It’s about really seeing the world as it presents itself and not trying to deny that.
There is a stirring from above that everybody feels. In the Purim story, King Achashverosh responds to this movement by calling on the queen to come out naked. To reveal everything about herself and leave nothing hidden. And the sages feel something too. They understand from Achashverosh that something is happening, that the light is ready to shine. But they are overcome with that desire and don’t know what to do with it, so they try and expel this desire for a revealing, for the divine presence to be naked before us. Both are reprehensible and both fail.
One approach tries to cover nothing and the other tries cover everything. But the way we are, the way we choose to clothe and present ourselves is so beautiful. It’s not about just getting to what’s underneath, to what’s more “essential” or “true”. Nor is it about being scared of how/what we really are, our dreams and yearings and imperfections and delicate splendor that we pile more and more coverings on top of.

 

Link to the original Hebrew text