Lots of Luck

Free translation and adaptation of a discourse by
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Purim 5713 [1953]

by Rabbi David Rothschild


Part 1

Part 2

OUTLINE of part 3:

III. Holy Hangman
Preeminence Preemption
Soul Selections
Infinity Standards


Part 3 (of 3)

[In the text an attempt was made to abridge and elucidate their content. To provide background information for difficult terms and concepts, additional material from other Chassidic discourses, appears in brackets. The remaining content is a free translation.]

III. Holy Hanging

Preeminence Preemption

We can now understand the greatness of Purim's miracle. By casting the pur-lottery, Haman attained a position higher than the Worlds. At that location darkness and light are equivalent. 41 As Solomon hinted, "The spider captures its prey with its handiwork [since] it is inside the King's palace." 42 That's why "Haman schemed to erect a fifty-cubit high gallows." 43 For the Fiftieth Gate is above the system of Worlds.

[Moses comprehended only the lower Forty-Nine Gates of Understanding. But the Fiftieth Gate was withheld from him.

Between Passover and Shavuot we count the Forty-Nine Days of the Omer Offering. Each day rectifies defects in a corresponding emotional attribute. Seven attributes require rectification: Kindness, Severity, Splendor, Victory, Glory, Foundation and Kingship. Inter-included within each attribute is an element of the other six; together, they total forty-nine. Shavuot is on the fiftieth day after Passover. The Giving of the Torah was a gift from G-d. It arrives from a level beyond our grasp; since G-d's Infinity is revealed there.

G-d's Infinity, extant within the Fiftieth Gate of Understanding, is abstracted above all manner of differentiation, including the distinction between good and evil; light and darkness.]

This is the miracle of Purim. Despite the fact this level is elevated above the system of Worlds - where darkness is the same as light - nonetheless, even there, "He will choose for us our inheritance, the pride of Jacob that He loves for eternity." 44 His choice will be within Jewish souls.

Jewish souls are supreme within the sefirah of Wisdom. As Moses supplicated, "Gaze down from Your Divine abode, from the heavens, and bless Your nation Israel." 45 "Your Divine abode" refers to the sefirah of Wisdom. The verse then concludes, "And bless Your nation Israel."

[Amalek is a nation of evil incarnate. Every generation their souls return to murder Jews. Haman was a descendent of Amalek. Haman thought he could preempt the preeminence of the Jews by ascending above Wisdom into the pre-Creation site of Infinity.]

But Haman raised himself above the attribute of Wisdom. In this elevated position, darkness is similar to light. Nevertheless, G-d "foiled his plot." 46

Soul Selections

Through the Jews' willingness to sacrifice their lives for the duration of almost a whole year, they reached the level above the system of Worlds. For self-sacrifice exceeds reason, understanding and even the faculty of Will. It is impelled by the essence of the soul.

[The soul's essence is bound in everlasting unity with the Essence of G-d. Haman decreed that Jews who converted to Persian idolatry would be spared his extermination order. Transgressions of that sort sever the soul's link to G-d. Soul's, fearful of excision from their Divine source, supplied the inexplicable - higher than reason - impetus to suffer death rather than submit.]

The Talmud remarks about marriage, "A wife is selected in heaven for each man according to his conduct." 47 Although matches are made in the realm of Divinity, which is above-Worlds, nevertheless they are decided precisely in accord with man's deeds. By means of the Jews' acts of veritable self-sacrifice, then, even regarding the lofty level of Infinity above the system of Worlds, still, G-d "will choose for us our inheritance, the pride of Jacob that He loves for eternity."

Moses hinted to this miracle, "For Jacob is the lot of G-d's inheritance." 48 Onkelos, the second-century Sage, translates the verse as pertaining to a lottery. 49 Hence, even regarding the level of lotteries, where darkness is similar to light, G-d selects the "pride of Jacob."

The explanation for this is: although darkness is like light in the realm of Infinity, this equivalence applies specifically to Infinity's superficial or outer dimension. Within the inner aspect of Infinity however, G-d's choice is specifically Jewish souls.

Infinity Standards

[Kabbala employs geometric figures to illustrate the creation process. Once creation was set in place a finite system of cause and effect transfers light and life-force from above to below. This transmission began after a light ray consisting of near-infinite points of space-time shone forth into "space." Space had hitherto been filled with the Infinite Light. The Light was withdrawn to permit the introduction of the quasi-finite Creation Beam. Although it is hidden from us, the Infinite Light remains. It encompasses space-time like a sphere.

The outer dimension of this sphere is Standard Infinity. Since Infinity is above limitation, it is accessible to evil. What's more, evil obtains so much energy, it prevails.

But concealed within the sphere's inner core resides True Infinity. There, G-d is above the self-imposed limits of infinity. For Standard Infinity, by definition, can't discriminate, just as a circle has neither a beginning nor end. But in True Infinity, no such restriction binds G-d. He can choose whatever He wishes. And He chose the Jews.]


This then is the explanation, "Thus these days were named Purim based on the word pur." The fundamental miracle of Purim was the lottery. Although a lottery is above the system of Worlds where darkness matches light, nevertheless even in respect to the lottery itself, Jewish souls were chosen.

Haman's evil scheme was frustrated. "They hung Haman and his sons on the gallows." 50 And they were hanged on the very "gallows that he had prepared for Mordechai." 51 That is, Haman was hanged in the realm of Infinity, which is above the system of Worlds!

"G-d chose for us our inheritance." "I will utterly wipe out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens." 52 With the complete Redemption, speedily in our days.

41. Psalms 139:12; Torah Ohr, page 100:b
42. Proverbs 30:28; Torah Ohr, page 5:b
43. Esther 5:14
44. Psalms 47:5
45. Deuteronomy 26:15
46. Prayer service for Purim
47. The Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sotah, page 2:a
48. Deuteronomy 32:9
49. Targum Onkelos on the verse
50. Esther 9:25
51. Ibid., 7:10
52. Exodus 17:14


[Rabbi David Rothschild, a resident of Tsfat, is the founder and editor of Nefesh Magazine.]


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