Since we are in the month of Adar, I would like to talk today a little bit about the holiday of Purim.
The main thing about Purim is the reversing of everything that happened, what was supposed to happen. Things turned to their opposite. In Hebrew, the expression is ‘v’nahafoch hu,’ (“everything turned to the contrary,” Esther 9:1). Two times ‘v’nahafuch hu’ (ונהפוך הוא, 179) equals ‘Messiah’ (משיח, 358). It means we are dealing with the idea of ‘Chen’ (‘grace’), like we have explained many times. The main idea of Chen (grace) is like it is written at the end of Genesis, that “Noah (נח) matza Chen (חנ)” (“Noah found grace”). They are the same letters backwards. So ‘Noah’ means something that ‘rests,’ in Hebrew it means, an ‘axiom.’ It means that I think something and it ‘rests’ in my consciousness that this is the way things are supposed to be. We have to be able to reverse anything that we think is the way it’s supposed to be. We have to be able to turn it the other way around. This is the main idea of ‘Chen’ (‘grace’), which represents the beauty of symmetry. So let’s say that we have all kinds of things in our mind that we think, “this is what’s supposed to be.” For example, we think that we are in Exile, but we have to go out of the Exile, right?
There is the ‘Galut’ (‘Exile’), and there is the ‘Geulah’ (‘Redemption’), the going out of the Galut. We think that what’s supposed to be is to go from here (Exile) to there (Redemption). For example, we are sure the way that it’s supposed to be is evil now, but we think that in the end it will be good. It means that finally, the good is going to win. This is how every good person thinks it’s supposed to be. We are going from ‘Ra’ (‘Evil’) to ‘Tov’ (‘Good’). This is the way people understand reality, but we must be able to understand backwards (the opposite). To be able to understand everything backwards is the secret of Purim.
There is a story in the Talmud about someone by the name of ‘Rav (Rabbi) Yosef.’ This name equals, ‘Mashiach’ (‘Messiah,’ 358). He told us this story. What happened to Rav Yosef is that he had what’s called a clinical death. He was dead and he came back to life. His father asked him, “what did you see up there in the higher world?” He said, “I saw a backwards/upside down world” (“olam hafuch raiti”). So his father, who asked him what he saw, told him, “You really did see a true world! Here, we live in an upside down world and we are not aware of it, but what you saw there was a real world.” “Olam hafuch raiti” equals 878 in Gematria, which is ‘Messiah’ with all of the filling letters (‘mem,’ ‘shin,’ ‘yud,’ ‘chet’). If I make from the letters of ‘Mashiach,’ the words of the letters (מם שין יוד חית), I write all this together and it equals “olam hafuch ra’iti” (878).
Like we said, ‘Mashiach’ (משיח), equals, ‘Snake’ (נחש, 358). The Snake is an ‘ish tahpuchot’ (‘shifty man,’ someone that reverses himself.) Our Sages said that the verse about ‘ish tahpuchot’ in Mishlei (Proverbs 16:28), is like someone who is a liar, so our Sages said that the ‘ish tahpuchot’ is the snake. It’s why ‘Snake’ equals ‘Mashiach,’ as well. All this concept that being a liar is like to reverse yourself is the secret of Purim. In Purim, what I thought from the first place is good, ends up bad. What I will be thinking is bad, this is good, if really we understand Purim. To get to this, we have to drink wine, to get in a state that really we don’t make a difference between ‘Baruch Mordechai’ (‘bless Mordechai’) and ‘arur Haman’ (‘curse Haman’). You drink until you don’t know the difference between the evil guy who wants to kill, in one day, all of the Jews and Mordechai, the good guy. These phrases have the same Gematria (ברוך מרדכי = ארור המן = 502). If you have the same Gematria, it means that I have to get in the state of mind that I understand these as one thing. How is it possible?
For example, we say that to be proud (‘gaavah,’ ‘pride’ or ego) is bad. The days that we celebrate Purim, it can only happen on four days of the week. Yom Shlishi (the third day, ג), the first one (day, א), the sixth one (ו), and the fifth one (ה). These are the only days when we can celebrate Purim. It will never be on Shabbat, Monday, or Wednesday. The word that we have here is ‘Gaavah’ (‘pride,’ גאוה), which means to be proud of myself, which is like the ego, a bad thing. The backwards/opposite word of ‘Gaavah’ in Hebrew is ‘anavah’ (‘humility’), to be modest. “I am nothing. I don’t think I deserve anything, because no matter what I do, I don’t think people need to tell me thank you, to be rewarded for it.” It is written about the falling of Haman, when he fell down, “ve’Haman nofel al hamitah” (והמן נופל על המיטה). He fell down on the bed of Esther when they had drinks together with Achashverosh the second time. It’s written that Haman fell down on the bed and it’s when he completely lost everything. We have the acronym here of the word, ‘anavah’ (ענוה). It means in Purim, if you are too much in ‘anavah’ (‘humility’), you are going to fall. We see opposite things here.
The main sin of Purim was that they participated in the meal of Achashverosh. He made a big ‘meal’ (‘Seudah’) and they participated, which was their sin. Our Sages mention why Haman wanted to kill all of the Jews. They said that the sin was that they participated in the meal that Achashverosh made for everyone. So what is the correction to this sin? To do a meal. It means that the correction of doing a meal is to do a meal and even a meal that is with much drinking. We saw that the correction is the sin itself, to repeat the sin. We are repeating in a better way, but this is the idea of everything turning backwards. Haman wanted to kill us, and he was hung on the same tree which he prepared for Mordechai. So this is the idea of being able to understand everything completely differently.
Now we mentioned before good and evil. Everyone usually thinks that in the end the good is going to win. Even when the situation is that the evil wins now, we like to think that in the end of all this story of creation, everything will be alright and good for everybody; the good will win. Now what does the Torah have to say about it? For example, we think we have to go out of Exile. Exile is a bad thing, so we have to go out of Exile, out of Egypt, but in all the Book of Genesis (Bereshit), the story finishes with Ya’akov (Jacob) going with his children to Egypt. It’s a good end to all the story of Genesis (the creation of the world). Like the first parsha (Torah portion) of Bereshit (Genesis), which is called Bereshit, finishes with, “Noach found grace in the eyes of Hashem,” all the book of Genesis finishes with a story that seems to not be very good, when we are going to Exile, and Yaakov lives seventeen years in Egypt. Seventeen equals ‘Tov’ (‘good’) in Gematria. This is a good end to the story. Yaakov lived all of his life with trouble and suffering, but finally he is with all of his children. He goes to Egypt and everything is good, so what’s wrong here? It’s like the goal of all creation is to go to Egypt.
After, in the Book of Shemot (Exodus), is the story that Egypt becomes not very good for different reasons, we go out of Egypt, and then we receive the holy day of Pesach (Passover). It means Pesach represents going out of Egypt. Purim was in Exile, when we were still in Exile, so we celebrate the Exile. This is why if I do the Gematria of ‘Purim’ (פורים, 336) plus ‘Pesach’ (פסח, 148), it equals together ‘Exile’ (גלות, 439) plus ‘Redemption’ (גאולה, 45), or twenty-two squared (222), and ‘Tzemach Shmo’ (484), one of the names of Mashiach (Zechariah 6:12). It also equals ‘Guf’ (‘body,’ 89) plus ‘Neshama’ (‘soul,’ 395). Twenty-two (number of Hebrew letters) squared means we have perfection. Any number squared shows that it is a perfect number in Kabbalah. It means that there is something perfect in this couple of things and we need both of them. We need two Redemptions. First, Purim, and after, Pesach. There are two states of ‘Geulah’ (‘redemption’). The first state of Geulah, Purim, is to go to Egypt. It means we cannot go out of Egypt, if we don’t first go into Egypt. Now what does it mean to go to Egypt?
Like we said, we can give any interpretation to the Torah that we want. The idea of giving any interpretation we want to the Torah comes from Purim, as well. The King Achashverosh, who by our Sages is like G-d, said to kill all the Jews. They came to him and asked him, “Please, can you change what you ordered?” He said, “no, I’m not going to change what I ordered, what I wrote in my Torah. What I wrote in the Torah is eternal. You write anything you want about what I wrote.” It means, “you will give your interpretation for what I wrote…””