Reb Shlomo zt”l taught as follows. Why is it that we aren’t overly aroused or ecstatic over all that Hashem does for us? Why is it that only when we are completely broken that we truly begin to appreciate all that Hashem does for us?
It is because we like to think of ourselves as self-sufficient and independent. Though, if we were asked to tell the truth – do we really believe that we are independent, do we really not recognize that all that we have is a gift from Hashem? – We would readily admit the truth. Yet we seldom live this truth, basically because we are a yesh – we think and act as if we are independent beings.
Reb Shlomo says that the more something is evil, the more subtle and refined its appearance. The more we absolutely need something, the more Amalek tries to convince us that we can live without it. The Torah and its mitzvot are “our life and length of days.” But Amalek says, “you can live without it.” Shabbos is essential to our Jewish life. But Amalek says, “you can live without it.” Hashem is our very existence, our source of life, and we all know this and we all would admit to this, yet Amalek says “you don’t really need to connect yourself to Hashem, Hollywood and the media will manage to keep you entertained just fine.”
Amalek says, “you don’t really need to be connected to all your fellow Jews, or to all your friends; you don’t need to feel the pain of another, just take care of yourself.” “Folks – that’s Amalek!”
Purim is the most awesome holy-day divine gift from G-d. Purim is fasting and crying out to Hashem – “Hashem, how could I be so unconscious of You, Hashem I want every fiber of my being to aware of You, that there is only You and nothing else; Hashem, I don’t want to be comatose anymore!” Purim is reading the Megillah – hearing Hashem’s story and telling Hashem our stories. Purim is mishloach manot – sending gifts of food to our friends saying “I mammash can’t live without you.” Purim is matanot l’evyonim, “Gevalt, how I wish that my heart would be open and sensitive to the poor, instead of begrudgingly giving them a few pennies, instead of looking down on them. How I wish I would have the heart and the courage to restore their self-confidence.” Purim is seudat Purim – the feast of Purim, eating together and getting drunk enough to be drunk on “Purim” – on the great miracle of this awesome holy day, not to ‘know’ the difference between ‘cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordechai’. To know that there is only one truth, there is only One, and that we are never forsaken.
Reb Shlomo said that on Yom Kippur I’m saying to G-d “I’m sorry for all the things I did wrong, I’m sorry over all my transgressions.” But I’m only apologizing because it is forbidden to do what I did. We apologize to our friends “I’m sorry I insulted you – I learned that it is forbidden and I am sorry.” But if it wasn’t forbidden I’d probably do it again, right?
Purim is beyond that. We don’t apologize on Purim. On Purim we realize “Hashem, I can’t live without you; I can’t live without Your Torah, I can’t live without Shabbos. I can’t live without my friends. Hashem, I want to be close to You – I would like to tell You my story.” L’CHAIM! L’CHAIM TOVIM UL’SHALOM!, GOOD PURIM! GOOD PURIM!, b’ahavah ubivracha sholom