Sunday, 18 February 2018

Adar message for SSA strugglers

by Shomer Bris (See all authors)

In the spirit of Purim, I figured I would share a thought of Torah with everyone here. The Bnei Yisaschar (Rav Zmi Elimelech Shapiro of Dinov) points out something very interesting about Purim. In naming the Moadim, the Torah refers to each particular holiday with a name that reflects the miracle essential to that holiday: Pesach, that Hashem passed over (pasach) the houses of Bnei Yisrael; Sukkos, "Ki b'sukkos hoshavti es Bnei Yisrael"; etc. But when we look at Purim, we find just the opposite. Purim is actually is named after the Pur of Haman, after the near destruction of the Jewish people! Why is it appropriate to name Purim after this, and what can we learn from this?

To answer this question, the Bnei Yisachar brings down the Arizal, who says that each month of the year corresponds to a part of the head, and the month of Adar, in particular, corresponds to the nose--which gives us our sense of smell. This is said to be the purest of our five senses because this is the only one of the five senses that was not used in Chet Adam Harishon. And so, the sense of smell has a certain purity to it, beyond all the other senses. Likewise, there is a certain koach to the month of Adar, which corresponds to the sense of smell, beyond the other months of the year. [Interestingly, the Gemara even tells us that Mordechai is hinted to in the Torah when it says Mar Deror, which Onkelos translates as "Mara d'chaya" and Esther is hinted to with the word "Hadassah" - both of these connecting back to smell. Even the main characters of the story of Purim, who save the Jewish people, are tied to the sense of smell.] And when we think about it, it turns out that perhaps this Pur was a reflection of the miracle. Because of all the months in which Haman's plan to destroy the Jewish people could have fallen on, it fell on Adar--a month in which the Bnei Yisaschar and Arizal tell us has a special koach that actually protected the Jewish people. The landing of the Pur in Adar was in itself a major part of the miracle of Purim! Within the despair of Purim actually existed the salvation that we experienced!

This, of course, is just one reflection of the idea that on Purim, everything turns upside down and inside out--the concept of v'nahafoch hu. It is a running theme throughout the Megillah, and in reading and reflecting on the story we can see it so clearly. Purim is a time where we too, in our own lives, can iyH take a look at our struggles and see them from a completely different light. We can try to look at things a little bit differently, take a step back and recognize that perhaps with these struggles we can find some light. We can maybe start to see, if even just a little bit, that within every galus, every yisurin, every nisayon, there is at least seem seed of geulah.

And I say this particularly here to SSA strugglers. All of us here know how hard our struggles with SSA can be, and I'm sure many of us have had moments of such despair that we did know what to do. B"H, we have so many resources for SSA here on GYE, with this thread and each other, and that is a huge start. My brachah to everyone here is that this Purim, we start to see a bigger picture; we recognize on some level that our struggles might be a burden on us and might cause us to despair, but on some level going through our struggle is actually a blessing in disguise. May we all reach new levels of clarity this Purim, with ourselves and with our relationship to Hakadosh Boruch Hu, and remember that perhaps within our struggle we can find a sense of geulah!