The Megillah: Majesty & Mystery

By Norman Lamm

Edited by Joel B. Wolowelsky

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 192

ISBN: 978-160-280-197-4


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Purim is one of the most festive days on the Jewish calendar, but the
trappings of joy and merrymaking mask a more serious message. Join
Rabbi Norman Lamm as he thoughtfully reveals the underlying themes
of Megillat Esther and the Purim holiday. OU Press and RIETS/Yeshiva
University Press are proud to offer Rabbi Lamm's unique and eloquent
insights into Torah, human nature, God's role in history, the relation of
God and humankind, and other timeless themes.
This compelling
commentary consists of
Rabbi Norman Lamm's
insights on Megillat Esther and
the Purim holiday, as well as
on Tefillat Ma'ariv, the evening
prayer service, gleaned from
the vast corpus of his oral and
written offerings.
Together with several complete
derashot on other "days
of thanksgiving," this new
presentation of Rabbi Lamm's
thought provides a broad canvas
on which Rabbi Lamm portrays,
in his inimitable style, God's
repeated salvation of His people,
a salvation which is sometimes
clear and bold, at others times
ambiguous and obscure.
The holiday of Purim takes on
new and deeper meaning with
Rabbi Lamm's keen insight and
nuanced perspective.
From Rabbi Lamm's commentary:
A famous Talmudic statement concerning Purim is that one ought to drink
more than his usual standard of sobriety. It permits one to drink so that he does
not distinguish between accursed Haman and blessed Mordecai (Megillah 7b).
This does not mean, assuredly, that one must intoxicate himself to the point where
he loses his capacity for analytic distinctions. Rather, it means that one must drink
only slightly more than usual so as, on the contrary, he gains greater spiritual insight.
This spiritual insight will show that, indeed, there is truly no difference at all between
"accursed Haman" and "blessed is Mordecai." . . . It is when the anti-Semite accuses us
of fostering the unity of Israel, the differentness of Judaism, and the resistance to
idolatry that is part of our national character, that we can rise to our fullest stature
as being loyal to our spiritual destiny and vocation. There is, and there should be,
no difference between Haman's curse and Mordecai's blessing. Haman's indictment
is a "true bill," it points to the source of our strength and our blessing.