This week we learn, live and read the Torah portion Tetzaveh. We also read Parshas Zachor.
Motzoei Shabbos and Sunday is the holiday of Purim, with Monday being Shushan Purim.
The Tikkunei Zohar notes the similarities between Yom Kippur and Purim, highlighting how there is a unique quality of Purim that even surpasses Yom HaKi-Purim - the day that is like Purim.
In a Purim talk in 5744 the Rebbe explains how both Yom Kippur and Purim involved lotteries. On Yom Kippur, the high priest drew lots to determine which goat was to be sacrificed, and which goat would be led away to a desolate place...
In the story of Purim, Haman had cast lots to decide on which day to exterminate the Jewish people.
The meaning of a lottery in man's soul, represents the essence of the soul which transcends reason.
In man's service to Hashem, it represents self- sacrifice.
On Yom Kippur, the high priest through his service, revealed the essential level of the Jewish people, essential oneness or "Yechida" in the "one" people, in the "one" day of the year.
In the events that led to Purim becoming a holiday, every Jew openly exhibited self-sacrifice. Just as all Jews were equal and one in the danger they faced, so too the level of "one" in the soul blazed forth openly and equally in all Jews.
As with all Jewish holidays, although limited to one (or more) day(s) on the calendar, the theme of the Holiday endures and inspires the entire year.
Purim inspires us for the entire year to serve Hashem with self-sacrifice.
That is why the Holiday is called Purim, which recalls Haman's lottery.
As mentioned, in Divine Service, lottery represents "beyond reason" - synonymous with self-sacrifice.
The celebration of Purim is indeed the most joyous of all Jewish holidays, as it mandates - עד דלא ידע - a joyous experience that is beyond reason, and has no limits.
So when we celebrate Purim each year, we renew our level of service that knows no limits, that transcends reason, and that is expressed with true self-sacrifice.
Although a fun holiday, and a holiday that focuses so much on children, Purim contains serious lessons for our behavior throughout the year - and a level of observance and dedication that is exhibited with מסירת נפש - self-sacrifice.
Good Shabbos. Happy Purim!
Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus
THE MOSHIACH WATCH: An additional quality of Purim over Yom Kippur, is that on Purim we eat and drink etc, hence elevating the physical world around us.
On Yom Kippur, we are compared to angels, and refrain from eating and drinking etc.
The ultimate purpose of creation, was to make a dwelling place for Hashem in the lowest of worlds.
When Moshiach is revealed, the world will become a perfected dwelling place for Hashem.
There will be a great feast at that time (with the Leviathan etc etc) comparable, but even greater than, the Feast of Purim.