14 Adar I 5765 – Purim Katan
By Rabbi Ilan Segal
Ever since the conclusion of Yom Echad of Brias Haolam, the world has faced a challenge of finding Achdus. That day was called Yom Echad– not Yom Rishon. It was the day of complete achdus when there was no challenge to the concept of Hashem Echad. And we await the day that the Navi Zecheria prophesied “Bayom hahu y’hiye Hashem Echad uShmo Echad.” But in between the first day and the last day, we live with conflict and dichotomy.
“Hachodesh Hazeh Lachem Rosh Chodashim”. We calculate our calendar by the lunar cycle, unlike the rest of the world who follow the solar cycle. With this mitzvah of Kiddush Hachodesh, Hashem separated us from the nations. Mekadesh Yisrael veHazmanim. Through the Kedusha of Zeman He sanctified Yisrael. It would seem that these two cycles of the year should each be left to follow its own track. Let Pesach fall in winter as long as it is the first lunar month. But Hashem added a Mitzvah of Ibur Shana which requires us to ensure that Pesach will be in the time of Aviv and Succos at the time of gathering. And so we have an extra Adar this year. This leap month ensures that the month of Nisan on the Lunar calendar will match the time of Nisan on the Solar Calendar. In a sense we superimpose our months over the solar cycle.
The sun and the moon split time into two separate cycles, two realms of existence. The world of the sun is described by Shlomo Hamelch “Ain chadash tachas hashemesh” a constant existence which is unchanging and unchallenged. The world of the moon is all new always changing waxing and waning “Ulevena amar shetishchdesh” We have a mitzvah of Ibur Shana to align the year of the sun and the year of the moon, to make it all one. This theme of taking different facets of the Beriah and uniting them into complete achdus in serving Hashem runs through the building of the Mishkan. The Mishkan is erected on the first day of the first month. In Shemos 13:36 the Posuk states “Vehaya haMishkan echad”.
The magnificence of the Mishkan was its uniting everything into one. Animal vegetable and mineral all fuse into one entity of Kavod Hashem. The Mishkan is built by Betzalel from Shevet Yehudah, the leader of the Shevatim and Ohaliav from Dan, the least of the tribes, to show that all of Klal Yisroel from biggest to smallest unite in the construction of the Mishkan. It is not coincidental that the parshiot that we read during Adar Alef are the Parshiot of the Mishkan. The theme of Achdus, uniting the different facets of Briah into Avodas Hashem is what this month represents. The climax of the month comes with the full moon. In Adar Alef we mark Purim Katan on the 14th and15th.
In the final siman of Orach Chaim, the Rema raises the machlokes of Rishonim whether a Seuda is required on Purim Katan. Although the Halacha follows the opinion that there is no mitzvah of Seuda, the Rema writes that a small addition to your regular Seuda is appropriate in order to fulfill the Machmir opinion. The Rema then concludes with the words “Tov Lev Mishteh Tamid” The Shaarei Teshuva discusses this concluding posuk in the Rema. He explains that there is a difference between the words ‘Lev’ and ‘Levav’. In Maseseches Berochos, Chazal explain the words Bechal Levavecha that we say in Shema to mean Bishnei yetzarecha, to love Hashem with both your yetzer tov and yetzer ra. Levav implies two hearts, one good and one bad. Lev denotes only one united heart, devoted to Avodas Hashem. For this we daven in the Berocha before Shema every morning. ‘Veyacheid levaveinu l’ahavah v’yirah es Shemecha…’ unite our hearts to love You. Hashem, help us to make our levav into a lev.
Eating and other indulgence in the physical world always endanger our ruchniyus. Mishteh Tamid, constant feasting, is a grave danger to healthy ruchnius. Darka Shel Torah requires Pas BeMelech. But one who has Lev Echad, who has defeated his Yetzer Horah to the point that there are no contradictions in his existence. Such a person is Tov Lev and can have ‘Mishteh Tamid’ Feasting will not contradict his holiness.
You spent a year in Eretz Yisroel immersed in Kedusha of Torah and Avodas Hashem.
A year of Lev Echad Le Avinu Shebashamyim. Post seminary reality includes many distractions. School, work, family obligations all compete for our attention threatening to split our Lev Echad into many. Ibur Hashana teaches us to impose the reality of a torah existence on everything else and to make it all one. We don’t have a time for Kodesh and a time for Chol, a time for Torah and a time for college. We have one ‘time’ and that is time for Avodas Hashem. We build a Mishkan in our lives where all facets fit into a single structure of achdus, of doing Hashem’s will.
As we each strive to unify our hearts and our lives in love of Hashem we move towards the time when Hashem will unite everything into complete shelemus.
“Bayom Hahu Y’Hiyeh Hashem Echad uShmo Echad”