Purim to Pesach

Purim has been and gone. The megilla has been read and all the kids and plenty of grown ups dressed up in their costumes to add heed to the hidden aspect of the holiday. With G_d not being mentioned in the megilla one has to look within the story to see the Hand of deliverance that saved the Jewish people from the wicked Haman.

With Pesach exactly the opposite is the case. G_d appeared to Moses at the burning bush and gave him signs to use in front of Pharoah. In the Torah and then in the Hagadda it says that it was the Hand of G_d that took the Jewish people out of Egypt. It was G-d himself that came down to strike the firstborns. How did He know which houses to strike at? Moshe told the Children of Israel to take a sheep – an Egyptian god – and tie it to their posts and later on to slaughter it, take the blood and paint it on the doorposts. All this was done in the faces of the Egyptians – no hiding. G-d didn’t need the sign of the blood that was put there for him. Plenty of the Israelites didn’t put blood on their doorposts and they suffered the same fate as the rest of Egypt – death of the firstborns.

On Purim we drink wine until we do not know the difference between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed is Mordechai”. This is also part of the hidden side of Purim, that we don’t know who is who. On Pesach we drink four cups of wine to help raise us to the exalted level of leaving Egypt, as we are all meant to try and reach that level during the Seder. The Seder which is to remind us of the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt, which was done openly in front of the Egyptian people as opposed to in times of Purim it was all done in a much more hidden revelation.

This is written in memory of Chaim Ephraim Ben Shimon Alter z”l whose 8th yarzheit is today the 16 Adar.


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