Drunk All Year Round!
There’s a recurring theme on GYE and on the boosts that we’ve probably heard already a number of times, that the Yetzer Hara’s biggest trick is to get us to feel down after a sin. Because when we feel down, it’s easy for us to give up and we end up sinning much more.
I once heard a great Moshol for this. When a thief wants to rob a store, he sometimes brings a young child with him. The child steals a small toy or candy, and the owner of the store starts chasing him. Meanwhile, the thief takes advantage of the owner being distracted and he goes and empties the whole cashier!
It’s the same with the Yetzer Hara. He gets us to fall, but his goal isn’t the fall. The fall is just a distraction so he can swoop in and take the whole prize - which is to get you down and feeling far from Hashem. Cuz once you feel that way, he’s got you wrapped around his little finger! So this is one of his biggest tricks.
Another one of his tricks is the exact opposite. He makes us feel a little bit too good about ourselves when we’re doing well so that we get complacent and forget that we need Hashem’s help every moment anew.
So these two strategies of the Yetzer Hara often lead to a fall. Either feeling too good about ourselves, or feeling too bad about ourselves.
So what can we do to avoid these feelings? They're only natural! When we’re doing well, we tend to get complacent and self-assured. And after a fall, we feel down. What can we do? This is human nature. How can we avoid these unhealthy feelings?
It is brought down in Kabala that every aveira we do and every mitzva we do are like clothing for the soul. When we do mitzvos, we clothe our souls with beautiful spiritual garments of light, and when we do aveiros, our souls become covered in dirty clothing, rachama litzlan.
But it’s important to realize that our souls themselves cannot be tainted. Our souls are a chelek eloka mimal, a piece of Hashem Himself. Like a diamond can be covered in mud, but it can never become inherently soiled. When we recognize this truth, I believe we can save ourselves from the unhealthy feelings that we mentioned above. Because no matter how many mitzvos and progress we may have made, we must remember that our good deeds are just garments that can be removed c”v if we are not careful and we don’t have Hashem’s constant help. And no matter how many aveiros we did, our filthy garments can also always be removed with teshuvah. The garments never damage our souls - our very essence.
And therefore, it is important for us to constantly remember this and divest ourselves of our outer garments. Whenever the Yetzer Hara comes to us with one of these arguments - either that we’re so special because of our beautiful garments of Mitzvos, or that we’re so unworthy because of our dirty garments, we need to shed these garments and remember that all we are is a pure soul that is ONE with Hashem. At every moment we must serve Hashem as if we never did anything yet for Him, and also as if we have never sinned. At every moment we need to live as a baby just born, without any clothing or even any midos. As Dovid Hamelech said, כְּגָמֻל עֲלֵי אִמּוֹ כַּגָּמֻל עָלַי נַפְשִׁי - like a suckling child with his mother; my soul is with me like a suckling child.
And this is truly how Dovid Hamelech lived. He could be a fearless warrior one moment, and the next moment, a sensitive and humble poet. Because Dovid Hamelech didn’t allow the garments of his midos or his deeds to separate him from Hashem. He was always connected to Hashem directly, shedding the garments of his midos and deeds.
We see in tanach that when the neviim used to say nevuah, they removed their garments. It says also by Shaul Hamelech that when he came to Shmuel Hanavi, a spirit of nevuah came over him, and he began to prophesise, and the pasuk says, that he he too removed his clothing and he too prohesized before Shmuel, and he fell naked all that day and all that night.
Every one of us has the ability to throw off our garments and connect with Hashem like the neviim did. It says in the mefarshim, that when a navi would prophesize, he would lose his mind. He would become like a crazy person. Like it says by Shaul Hamelech when a bad spirit overtook him and he was acting crazy, vayisnabe beseech habayis, and the targum translates it hishtateh - he went crazy, … Losing our minds and removing the garments of our deeds, our midos and our past, can connect us to Hashem in the deepest way.
And I believe this is why we get drunk on Purim. Purim is the highest day of the year, even yom kippur is called yom kippurim - it’s only LIKE purim. [On Purim we recognize that Hashem is hiding in plain site, within the natural world. The megila doesn’t have Hashem’s name in it, because Hashem revealed Himself through natural means. All the miracles in the megila were natural, yet Hashem was basically saying - peek aboo, here I am. Revealing Hashem in nature is the greatest revelation possible. And that is why Chazal say all yomim tovim will one day be batel, but not Purim. Because this revelation of Hashem within nature, will be so clear to all humanity when Moshiach comes, that it will always be a bechina of Purim.]
So on this greatest of days, we connect to Hashem in the deepest of ways. When we get drunk, we divest ourselves of the garments of our minds. We no longer feel haughty with our past, we hug the beggar and roll in the mud, and we no longer feel the futility of the struggle and the sins of our past, nichnas yayin yatza sod, we connect with our deepest essence, with our soul that has no garments whatsoever. And that is when we are capable of the greatest tefila and greatest teshuvah, a teshuvah of pure love for Hashem.
When we’re drunk we feel like in a dream, we feel like we’re looking at the world from outside our bodies. We forget our reality. It can be the most uplifting experience of the year, if we use it properly.
Maybe this is what is meant that we get drunk until we don’t know the difference between Arur Haman and Baruch Mordechai. There’s a haman and a mordechai in each and everyone of us. The Mordechai is our garments of Mitzvos, the Haman is our garments of Aveiros. But on Purim we get drunk and don’t see the difference anymore, we throw off the garments, we put on a mask, we dress up, we cover up the outer garments of how we want everyone else to perceive us, we connect with our deepest essence.
Rabbosai, the lesson of Purim applies to us all year round. In a certain sense, we need to always be drunk. Like we said before, the Yetzer Hara’s biggest tricks are too point to our garments and tell us either how great we are, or how worthless we are. We must remove the garments of our minds that hold us back from serving Hashem.
At every given moment, we can connect to our deepest essence, as if we never did anything, as if we were just born, without any past. To look at ourselves from the outside, from outside our reality and our past.
And in this way we can be saved from all the unhealthy feelings that so often hold us back from progress in Avodas Hashem.
Wishing everyone a happy Purim that is just - out of this world!