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Wednesday, February 28, 2024 - 19 Adar I 5784
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In G-d's Hands

King Achashverosh invited all his citizens to a beautiful feast, featuring every type of delicacy. The Jewish citizens of Persia were invited as well, and Achashverosh took care to provide them with kosher food, to the highest standard. The Jews had no excuse not to attend; it would be the minimum requirement of good citizenship and decency. And attend they did; they actually enjoyed participating in the king's banquet.

This was the source of the Jews' trouble in the time of Achashverosh. The problem was not their attendance at the feast; after all, the food was all kosher. The problem was that they took pleasure in it. They felt flattered that Achashverosh had acknowledged their existence and deigned to invite them to his party. They forgot that although Achashverosh was the world superpower of his time, his power was only granted to him by his Creator.

The Midrash teaches that we must not read the Megillah in reverse order. The Baal Shem Tov gives a mystical explanation of this halachic ruling: We must not read the Purim story as an event that occurred in the past. Each time we read the Megillah, we must read it as a story that has a pertinent message for our time.

The Purim story reminds us that our wellbeing depends solely on the kindness of our Creator. At times, G-d chooses to protect us in the guise of a strong army or friendly nations. However, we must not become confused and place our full trust and reliance in these natural means. As the verse in Psalms states: "If G-d does not protect a city, we hire watchmen in vain!"

In our generation, there are those who believe that the path to Jewish safety and security is to win the approval of the nations. The Torah unequivocally forbids us to compromise on even one inch of our Holy Land. Any land given over to our enemies only opens our borders before them and puts millions of Jewish lives in danger, G-d forbid. Unfortunately, all the "peace" agreements that the Israeli government has signed to this day have not brought peace, but only exacted a steep price in the blood of our people. We can assure our safety only through taking a loyal and determined stance to fulfill the word of G-d.

Mordechai, the tzadik of his generation, gave the Jews of his time the strength they needed to withstand their trial. The tzadik of our generation, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, is the only Jewish leader who for decades has insisted that only a firm stance on Israel, according to the will of G-d, will lead to its security. Any weakness or diversion from the path of Torah will lead to our downfall, as the reality has so tragically proven.

When we go in the path of Torah, as the Rebbe taught, we are guaranteed that the Jewish people will have "Light and joy, gladness and honor," as we will have with the full redemption.



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