20 February 2012

Sequel to "Amalek is alive and well..." Pt. 1

27 Shevat 5772

In light of the fact that we are standing in the shadow of Rosh Chodesh Adar, I thought that now is a good time to get started on the promised sequel to the post Amalek is alive and well and living in Iran. First, a word about the nature of the month of Adar.

The "Personality" of Adar

Adar is the happiest, most joyous month of the Hebrew calendar. In fact, its motto is "When Adar comes, joy is increased."

The abundance of joy in Adar is primarily due to the presence within the month of Purim. That holiday commemorates the salvation of the Jewish People from a genocidal plot by the wicked Haman, whereby he hoped to destroy the Jewish People, G-d Forbid, completely. Because of our fasting and repentance, we were able to have that heavenly decree, if not the earthly one, torn up (a decree of Achashverosh could, of course, never be rescinded).

Haman achieved the result, thank G-d, of having his plot overturned ("venahapoch hu," "it was overturned" - a theme of Purim) upon himself. Our last picture of him and his ten sons are of them dangling from the very gallows which he had prepared for Mordechai, a leader of the Jews.

Even though we are instructed in Pirkei Avot (Chapter 4, Mishnah 24) by Shmuel HaKatan, "When your enemy falls, do not be happy, and when he stumbles, let your heart not rejoice," an exception is made in the case of Haman. He represents the spirit of absolute (or nearly absolute) evil, as did his infamous ancestor, Amalek, founder of the nation which attacked the weakest of the Jews on their way out of Mitzrayim. Then the Jewish People were fresh from the Miracle of the Splitting of the sea, and their faith was still fragile, while fear of the Jews and of the awesome might of their G-d was universal among all the other nations of the world.


I want to examine the connection between the different incarnations of Amalek and the holiday of Purim, but prior to that we need to answer this question. Is it really true that the Heavenly decree against Am Yisrael from Haman's time was "torn up?"

We've all learned at one time or another that the decree against Ninveh was "cancelled" when the people did teshuva in response to Yonah's message from Hashem. However, that may not be strictly true either. I learned in another place that the decree was not rescinded, but only deferred to a more 'deserving' generation. One hundred and twenty years later, Ninveh was destroyed as Yonah had prophesied. If so, then maybe that is what happened with the Jews, also. Maybe, the teshuva brought about through the actions of Esther and Mordechai simply bought a delay and the decree was deferred until the year 5700 - the beginning of the Shoah.

The following is excerpted from the article Under the Nazis’ Boots featured in issue 396, 15 Shevat 5772, of Mishpacha Magazine, which describes how Rav Yechezkel Shraga Landau, the Veretskier Rav, together with his wife and eight other people, survived living in a sub-cellar bunker under a non-Jew's house during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslavakia.

...On a dark, sad Purim night, when it was quiet upstairs, Rav Landau delivered a dvar Torah.

King Achashveirosh told Mordechai that anything written and sealed with the king's seal is irrevocable, yet the decree against the Jews of Shushan was ultimately revoked. Rav Landau explained that when the word "king" is mentioned in the Megillah, it is a reference to the King of the Universe. The dialogue between Achashveirosh and Mordechai was being played out in Heaven. Hashem was saying: "You know what? I can't revoke my decree, but I can push it off." World War II, said Rav Landau, was the realization of the original Purim decree, as men, women, and children were led to the slaughter. just as Haman had hoped for more than 2,000 years prior.

REMINDER:"And it is also brought down in the name of the Rosh Yeshiva of Mir - the Gaon Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel ZT"L, brought down in the introduction of the book "Tomer Devorah" that was printed in Shanghai in 5705 - that in the year 5700, when the Holocaust broke out, the period of a Be'itah Redemption began. Something similar to this is brought down in the name of the Kloisenberger Rebbe ZT"L (in the newsletter "Betzila DeMeHamnuta" Tzanz - Emor, 5770) that with the Holocaust started the time of Be'itah."

The time had come to settle all the outstanding accounts so that the redemption could begin and it started with Am Yisrael.

Sequel - Part 2

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