Tonight R' Bamberger continued to discuss the holiday of Purim. Tonight's vaad was based on the commentary of the Vilna Gaon on Mishlei.

Shlomo HaMelech writes in Mishlei (11:10): "The city exults in the good of the righteous, and when the wicked perish there is glad song."

The Vilna Gaon comments on this verse that G-d always sends us the salvation before he destroys our enemies. For example, He led us through the Sea of Reeds on dry land before He drowned the Egyptian soldiers in it. He also caused Haman to be hanged only after he led Mordechai through the streets on the King's horse. G-d does this in order to show our enemies that He controls the universe and that the Jews are His chosen people. "...and when the wicked perish there is glad song" - this clause indicates that we can't sing praises to G-d until after He destroys our enemies. R' Chaim derives this principle from a verse in Psalms that we read as part of the daily "Hodu" prayer: "My heart exults in Your salvation; I will sing praises to G-d, for He has bestowed kindness upon me." In other words, we are only able to feel joy in our hearts when G-d rescues us from harm. Only after G-d destroys our enemies are we able to sing praises to Him.

R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l notes that King Chizkiyahu was supposed to be the Moshiach. However, after G-d destroyed Sancheirev's army through an open miracle, Chizkiyahu failed to sing praises to G-d. R' Shlomo Zalman explains that Chizkiyahu had complete trust that G-d would rescue him from Sancheirev's forces. Therefore, he was unmoved when he saw Sancheirev's forces actually destroyed. This was a mistake on Chizkiyahu's part.

The Meshech Chochmah points out that Jews never celebrate the physical destruction of wicked people. Indeed, every major Jewish holiday that is associated with a bloody war doesn't celebrate the victory itself. For example, on Chanukah we celebrate that the Jews rested on the 25th day of Kisleiv. On Pesach we celebrate our freedom to serve G-d. On Purim we celebrate that the Jews rested from fighting against their enemies.

R' Elyah Meir Bloch zt"l, the former Rosh Yeshiva of Telz, explains that the Jews were able to sing praises to G-d at the Sea of Reeds because they were able to dissociate their emotions. On the one hand, they were sad that G-d's creations were drowned in the Sea. In fact, this is the source for the custom to spill out some of the wine from the second cup during the Seder. On the other hand, they were happy that G-d saved themselves from being killed. The angels, however, weren't able to dissociate their emotions in this way. That's why they were forbidden to sing praises to G-d at that time.


Moshe Stempel

          Purim "Salvation"