Parshat Vayikra In Memory of Shimshon Ben Shalom

The first word of Parshat Vayikra has a miniature letter Alef at the end of it.. for thousands of years the sages of Israel have taught secrets regarding this miniature Alef (seen below).

One explanation to explain this small Alef is based on the following teaching from the Sages of Israel -

כל המועדים עתידים בטלים, וימי הפורים אינם בטלים לעולם, שנאמר (אסתר ט כח): "וימי הפורים האלה לא יעברו מתוך היהודים"

All of the holidays are to be nullified in the future but the days of Purim will not be nullified, as it is stated (Esther 9:28), 'And these days of Purim will not be rescinded from the Jews'

A question immediately arrises after reading this.. Don't we believe that our Torah will never be replaced or swapped, and there will never be another Torah from The Creator, may His name be Blessed. If thats true, then how can we suggest that all the Holidays will be canceled out in the future to come?

We also need to clarify why specifically the holiday of Purim doesn't get canceled, isn't Purim a non sanctified day unlike all the other Holidays? (Meaning that we can drive, cook, start fires, etc, unlike Shabbat and the other holidays where we refrain from Melacha (acts of creation).

To answer, we will preface with another teaching from the Sages of Israel

אָמַר רָבָא: מִיחַיַּיב אִינִישׁ לְבַסּוֹמֵי בְּפוּרַיָּא עַד דְּלָא יָדַע בֵּין אָרוּר הָמָן לְבָרוּךְ מָרְדֳּכַי.

Rava said: A person is obligated to become intoxicated on Purim until he is so intoxicated that he does not know how to distinguish between cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordecai.

We must understand this language of intoxication, which is traditionally understood as from wine, as well as what does the concept of 'until one doesn't know'

To answer, there are two categories of miracles. There are revealed miracles through the 'suspending of the program' which is not in the normal order of nature. Then there are hidden miracles that are embedded within the laws of nature. All of our Holidays were established to remember revealed miracles that were above and beyond the laws of nature, an example being the Israelites leaving Egypt, as we say in each Holiday during prayers - 'In remembrance of us leaving Egypt'.. However, the miracle of Purim occurred in a hidden manner, and was clothed in nature, specifically to reveal to us, that The Holy One Blessed Be He can be found with us in all times and circumstances, and that even in times when we cannot see the revealed miracles, HaShems hidden love will never be removed from us, and He continuously watches over us with Divine Providence. And in times of exile, and specifically in the final generation of the Days of the Moshiach, the main worship of the people of Israel is to instill in ourselves absolute faith to know that there is no chance, or natural unfolding in the world, and this is the foundation of faith in Divine Providence, which is to believe that all things that unfold in this world, isn't simply just nature unfolding - as we can see this fascinating teaching from the sages of Israel -

ד"אלהים" בגימטריא "הטבע"

The word Elohim has the same numerical value as the word HaTeva (the natural)

This teaches us that even the order of nature is the order of The Lord.

And with this, I was able to explain what is written here in the Talmud -

אסתר מן התורה מנין (דברים לא, יח) ואנכי הסתר אסתיר מרדכי מן התורה מנין דכתיב (שמות ל, כג) מר דרור ומתרגמינן מירא דכיא:

Q) From where in the Torah can one find an allusion to the events involving Esther?

A) Deuteronomy 30:23 - And I will hide [haster astir] My face on that day for all the evil which they shall have wrought,

Let us try and understand this teaching, as it seems to be an impossible riddle, what kind of question is this? and what kind of answer is this? There are many explanations spoken about on this matter.

It appears to me that regarding Esther it is written -

וַתֹּ֣אמֶר אֶסְתֵּ֔ר אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ ט֑וֹב יָב֨וֹא הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ וְהָמָן֙ הַיּ֔וֹם אֶל־הַמִּשְׁתֶּ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂ֥יתִי לֽוֹ׃
“If it please Your Majesty,” Esther replied, “let Your Majesty and Haman come today to the feast that I have prepared for him.”

The above verse is a very strange matter. Why did Esther arrange such a scenario to cause pain to the children of Israel, as they saw Esther going out and having a celebratory meal with a hand of hers collaborating with the totally evil Haman. And in truth, this is the deeper explanation of the following Talmud -

״יָבֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהָמָן אֶל הַמִּשְׁתֶּה״. תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: מָה רָאֲתָה אֶסְתֵּר שֶׁזִּימְּנָה אֶת הָמָן? רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אוֹמֵר: פַּחִים טָמְנָה לוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״יְהִי שֻׁלְחָנָם לִפְנֵיהֶם לְפָח״.

The verse states that Esther requested: “If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day to the banquet that I have prepared for him” (Esther 5:4). The Sages taught in a baraita: What did Esther see to invite Haman to the banquet?

We can take this to mean - How was Esther not afraid to cause such fear and panic amongst the Judeans at a time of such danger for themselves, and G-D forbid cause them to fall into a place of giving up hope in salvation! And the answer of Rebbe Nechemia was that the reason she did this was so that the people of Israel shouldn't say - "We have a sister in the house of the King, which would cause them to remove their minds from salvation coming from HaShem". So we see it's the opposite of what we suspected, and that Esther was acting here with deeper intentions, as Esther saw that the Children of Israel were putting their trust in her and not in HaShem Yitbarach, and they thought for sure she would bring them salvation through natural means, since they had a sister in the palace of the King, and she saw that mindset as a very dangerous matter for Israel, and did what she had to do in order to divert their hearts in order that they should have trust only in HaShem, and only to Him should they turn their eyes with prayer. So with incredible wisdom she did this wondrous and frightening act to invite Haman the wicked to her dinner, and through this the Israelites realized that even Esther their sister they cannot lean on! And that they have no one to rely upon, rather just their Father in the Heavens. So then they increased prayer and supplication, just as Mordechai the Righteous had done. And in truth, after these prayers, the miracle came clothed in natural events, including the aspect of the Israelites having a sister in the house of the King, to teach us that even the things that are found within natural order can still only come from the will of HaShem, who guides nature according to His will.

And this is the deeper meaning when the above Talmud asks, where in the Torah do we find a hint to Esther? Which is the following - Where in the Torah did Esther have a source to do such a thing, and cause such fear amongst the Children of Israel? Then the answer for that is the verse below that the Talmud answers with -

וְאָנֹכִ֗י הַסְתֵּ֨ר אַסְתִּ֤יר פָּנַי֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא עַ֥ל כׇּל־הָרָעָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֑ה כִּ֣י פָנָ֔ה אֶל־אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֲחֵרִֽים׃
Yet I will keep My countenance hidden on that day, because of all the evil they have done in turning to other gods.

And from this we learn that the ultimate purpose of HaShems countenance being hidden is to come to the ultimate recognition that HaShem oversees the whole world, and even that which appears to humans to be within the laws of nature, really comes from The Blessed One, and only He is the Master that can save. This is all hinted to by Esther in her words in the below verse (In bold in Hebrew) -

וַתֹּ֣אמֶר אֶסְתֵּ֔ר אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ ט֑וֹב יָב֨וֹא הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ וְהָמָן֙ הַיּ֔וֹם אֶל־הַמִּשְׁתֶּ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂ֥יתִי לֽוֹ׃

“If it please Your Majesty,” Esther replied, “let Your Majesty and Haman come today to the feast that I have prepared for him.”

The first letters of the words 'Let your Majesty and Haman come today' spell out the name the Divine Name, the Tetragrammaton, as all of her intentions for inviting Haman and the King, was simply to bring honor to His Blessed Name, and through this the people put their trust in HaShem alone, and not on her, and to reveal and see his Blessed Kingship in the world.

And based on this we can explain the what the Sages of Israel said regarding our obligation to become intoxicated on Purim until we 'don't know' - and the explanation of this is that from the strength of the days of Purim in which the miracle was clothed in nature, a person must intoxicate himself and acquire within himself the understanding that the purpose of knowledge is to know that you don't know!

וכן בידיעת מציאת הש"י אמרו (בחינת עולם יג מה) תכלית הידיעה שנדע שלא נדעך,

And in regards to the knowledge of HaShem we say - the purpose of knowing, is to know that we don't know!

The explanation of this is that even things that appear to be in the order of nature, and its clear that this is something that we know and understand, even that matter is only unfolding simply due to the Blessed and Elevated Divine want and will.

This is also the explanation of the opening question regarding all the Holidays in the future get canceled, which can mean that we won't need revealed miracles above the laws of nature any longer, since all the inhabitants of the Earth will recognize and know that all the sciences and natural order is also from the Holy One Blessed be He! And the days of Purim won't become canceled, which means the lesson we learned from Purim will never cease to exist from the world.

And with all of this we can explain the secret of the small Alef of the word Vayikra. Since the word Vayikra has a numerical value of 317, which is the same number as the words like the laws of Nature, K'Derech HaTeva (Including the letter counts), and we know that the letter Alef always represents the Alufo Shel Olam (the Master of the World), to teach us that even the matters of the natural world that we can observe, know and understand, in reality is small and minimized next to the Master of the World, which 'no mind can grasp Him at all', and even Moses our Teacher, greatest of all the prophets and sages, has this small Alef when being spoken to - all the more so we must know with absolute knowledge, and clear recognition that we don't know anything about the wisdom of the 'All Wise', and it is upon us to believe that everything, even that which appears to be natural and according to the way the world works, that still is based on the desire of the Master of the World, and with the Help of Heaven, this is correct.