For the Jews, There Was Light

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  1. April 20, 2016 – י״ב בניסן תשע״ו

    […] The truth is, before we had Torah, but could not experience its light. We observed the laws of Yom Tov, but found no happiness in it. We kept milah and wore tefillin, but with no joy or sense of preciousness. This was a basic flaw that Purim ended. Halakhah was fulfilled as a duty, not a love, was what made the leadership unable to direct the masses. But now “קִיְּמוּ וקבל [וְקִבְּלוּ] הַיְּהוּדִים עֲלֵיהֶם — The Jews established and accepted upon themselves” (Esther 9:17) As Rava explains (Shabbos 88a) “קיימו מה שקיבלו כבר — they established what they had already accepted” at Sinai. Leqayeim, to establish or make permanent, to allow the mitzvah to be more than an command, but something that lives on in how it shapes the soul. (More on this idea at the blog post “Purim“.) […]

  2. February 24, 2021 – י״ב באדר תשפ״א

    […] and happiness, joy and preciousness.  Or, as the Rabbi Yehudah unpacks it for us (see also “For the Jews, There Was Light“), orah (light) refers to Torah, simchah (happiness) is Yom Tov, sason (joy) is beris […]

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