“Rejoice on Purim till you can no longer distinguish between ‘Cursed is Haman’ and ‘Blessed is Mordechai’.” – Talmud Megillah 7b.
The popular contemporary work, Nesivos Shalom, by the late Rebbe (Grand Rabbi) of the Slonim Hasidic sect, Rav Shalom Barzovsky ob”m, gives a novel and poignant interpretation of this classic Talmudic directive:
“We must rejoice on Purim till we no longer feel the difference between the Mordechai periods of our lives, when we merit insight and enlightenment, and the Haman periods, in which we find His presence concealed.” (quote from Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein’s archives on Nesivos Shalom)
The Almighty only does good, but many times it’s seemingly impossible to see how the abundance of evil and negativity in the world are ultimately good. On Purim though, one can achieve, and should make every effort to achieve, a level of joy where we not only see the silver linings, but the precious clouds themselves – “when you’re smilin’, the whole world smiles with you.”
Good Shabbos …and Happy Purim!
Rabbi Mordechai Dixler
Program Director, Project Genesis – Torah.org