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Shabbos Parshas Terumah

Shabbos Parshas Tetzaveh

Shabbos Parshas Ki Sissa

Shabbos Parshas Vayakhel, Parshas Shekalim

1st Day of Rosh Chodesh Adar II, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Pikudei

Shabbos Parshas Vayikra, Parshas Zachor

Ta'anis Esther, 5749

Purim, 5749

Motzoei Shushan Purim, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Tzav, Parshas Parah

Machne Israel Special Development Fund

Yechidus

Shabbos Parshas Shemini, Parshas Hachodesh

Shabbos Parshas Tazria

Shabbos Parshas Metzora, Shabbos Hagadol

Motzoei Shabbos, Parshas Metzora

Maamar Matzah Zu

Tzivos Hashem/Pesach

6th Day Of Pesach, 5749

Shevi'i Shel Pesach, 5749

Acharon Shel Pesach, 5749

Maamar Vehechrim

Shabbos Parshas Acharei

Yechidus

Shabbos Parshas Kedoshim

2nd Day Of Iyar, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Emor

Shabbos Parshas Behar,

Eve Of Lag Baomer, 5749

Evening Following Lag Baomer, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Bechukosai

Address To The Women's Convention

Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar

Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 5749

Eve Of The 4th Day Of Sivan, 5749

1st Day Of Shavuos, 5749

2nd Day Of Shavuos, 5749

Yechidus Following Shavuos

12th Day Of Sivan, 5749

Eve Of The 13th Of Sivan, 5749

Sichos In English
Volume 41

Ta'anis Esther, 5749

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  11th Day of Adar II, 5749After Minchah  

1

It is an established Jewish custom to speak Divrei Kivushin -- words that will motivate repentance -- after the Minchah service on a fast day. This is particularly appropriate on the Fast of Esther, a fast that is held on the day before a festival and is, as are all fast days, "a day of will." Also, this year, the fortieth year after the Previous Rebbe's passing, contributes an added dimension as obvious from the Torah's statements, "Until this day, G-d did not give you a heart to know, eyes to see, and ears to hear."

Since today is the day before Purim, it is obvious that the Divrei Kivushin appropriate for today should concern Purim. One of the essential aspects of Purim is alluded to by the verse "and the Jews carried out and accepted..." which our Sages interpreted to mean, "they carried out what they had previously accepted"; i.e., on Purim, the Jews must "carry out" all the aspects of Torah and mitzvos that they had accepted on Mount Sinai, including an increase in their performance. This will influence the entire year to come and have an eternal effect as implied by the verse, "and these days of Purim will never pass from the Jewish people and their memory will not cease." This is also supported by the Rambam's statements which declare that even though the celebration of all the other festivals will be negated in the Messianic age, the celebration of Purim will not be negated.

This concept does not apply to oneself alone, but -- because of the concepts of ahavas Yisrael and achdus Yisrael -- also must be extended to other Jews. Haman's claim was that the Jews were "spread out and dispersed among the nations," i.e., they lacked unity. Therefore, it is necessary to stress the opposite point, how even while in a state of exile and dispersion, the Jews are one unified nation. This concept is expressed through the mitzvos of Purim -- Mishloach Manos and presents to the poor -- which emphasize the oneness that characterizes our people.

[This oneness is also related to the present day, the thirteenth of Adar, for the word, echad () -- one -- is numerically equivalent to thirteen.]

Thus, the fulfillment of all the aspects of Torah and mitzvos -- as alluded to in the verse "they carried out what they had previously accepted" -- must also be communicated to others. This is the spiritual equivalent of the mitzvos of Mishloach Manos and gifts to the poor.

Therefore, when one meets another Jew -- and, furthermore, one should make an effort to meet other Jews with this intent in mind -- one should try to influence him to fulfill all the aspects of Torah and mitzvos and, in particular, all the mitzvos associated with Purim, carrying them out in a public manner. This is emphasized by the decision in regard to the reading of the Megillah which attaches importance to its being read in the presence of at least ten people.

The above is relevant to women and children as well as to men. Even though the reading of the Megillah is a positive commandment associated with a specific time, women are obligated in its fulfillment for they had a portion in the miracle. Indeed, as obvious by the Megillah's name, the Megillah of Esther, the essential aspects of the miracle were associated with a woman.

Indeed, despite his important role, Mordechai's name is not mentioned in the name of the Megillah. It is not entitled the Megillah of Mordechai, the Megillah of Mordechai and Esther, or even the Megillah of Esther and Mordechai, but the Megillah of Esther. Furthermore, as the Talmud relates, it was Esther's efforts that caused the Megillah to be accepted as one of the 24 Books of the Bible. This serves as a lesson, teaching us the important position of Jewish women and demonstrating how they are worthy of honor.

Children also have an important position in the celebration of Purim. We see that it is Jewish custom to involve children in all aspects of the celebration of the holiday and, in certain aspects, they are the primary figures. For example, in regarding to stamping out Haman's name, adults carry out this service primarily in thought or speech (but, also in deed. The Previous Rebbe would stamp his feet whenever the name Haman was mentioned together with a modifier), while the majority of the commotion in this matter is carried out by the children. Similarly, the custom of masquerading on Purim is primarily associated with children.

May all the above be translated into actual deed by all Jews, those who are present here and those who are not present here, but who will have the matters related to them. This will hasten the coming of the Messianic redemption for as the Zohar states, "If there would be one righteous man who would turn to G-d in complete teshuvah, Mashiach would come in his generation." This is reflected in the Rambam's statements that by the performance of a single mitzvah, a person is able to "tip the balance for himself and for the entire world and bring about redemption and salvation."

There is a greater potential to hasten the coming of the redemption at the present time. Today is a fast day, "a day of will." It is after the Minchah prayers, an auspicious time as our sages declared: Eliyahu was answered only at Minchah time. We are found in a synagogue and a house of study which also serves as a house where charity is given.

[In particular, before the Minchah services on Ta'anis Esther, it is customary to give a half-shekel to charity to commemorate the half-shekel that was given to purchase the communal sacrifices which was collected in the month of Adar.

Though during the time of the Temple, it was customary to give only one half-shekel, at present, it is customary to give three half-shekels. It is possible to explain that these three half-shekels are given to commemorate the three days on which Esther asked the people to fast.]

Also, this gathering will be concluded by giving money for charity. May these gifts to charity speed the revelation of G-d's charity, the redemption of the Jews. May the preparations for Purim and the fulfillment of the mitzvos of Purim speed the coming of the Mashiach. This is particularly true on Purim eve when people are generally in good spirits, the happiness associated with a mitzvah. May this happiness hasten even more the coming of the Messianic redemption.


  11th Day of Adar II, 5749After Minchah  
  
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