The Power of Prayer on Purim Katan ("Little Purim")
THE Chidushei Harim (Rabbi Yitzchak-Meir Alter, the first Rebbe
of Gur) introduced an innovative reason for the mitzvah of drinking
much wine on Purim.
He told a story that happened in the times of the Baal
Shem Tov. There was a terrible decree against the Jews; everybody
prayed and did various mitzvot, but nothing helped and the decree
stayed in place. Finally the Baal Shem Tov instructed one of his followers
to go to a distant town and find a certain drunkard and bring him back
to the Baal Shem Tov. The messenger was advised not to allow the drunkard
to drink so that he would be sober when he came face to face with the
Baal Shem Tov. When the drunkard was brought to the Baal Shem Tov, he
asked the drunkard for a blessing that the decree be abolished. The
drunkard did so and immediately the decree was annulled.
The Baal Shem Tov explained to his close followers that
this person had done the great mitzvah of saving a girl, the
mitzvah of pidyon shevuyim ("redeeming captives"),
and the Heavenly Court was so moved that it was decreed that whatever
this person would ask for would be granted immediately. But then in
Heaven a big debate ensued: how can a simple person be given such unbelievable
power of blessing; maybe he will use it for the wrong ends? So they
decreed that he would be a drunkard all the time and not even realize
this power that was given to him.
THE Chidushei Harim then cited a law of Purim: "Anyone
who extends his hand, you must give him." This is true also regarding
prayer: when we davven (pray) to G-d on Purim, He has
to answer our requests. So to counter this unbelievable power of prayer,
the Sages enacted the law of drinking much wine on Purim so that we
can't focus and therefore won't use the day for praying for the wrong
things. The Chidushei Harim added that if somebody feels that he wants
to be smarter than the Sages -- and not drink, but pray and study all
day long -- he is wrong for not listening to the Sages.
A mishnah in the tractate of Megillah (1:4) states
that in a leap year (7 years out of every 19, when an extra month is
added), "There is no difference between the Adar I and Adar II
except that in the first Adar] we are not obligated to read the Megillah
nor give presents to the poor."
The power of prayer, however, remains exactly the same!
Yet, in the first Adar the Sages did not enact an obligation to drink.
So here we have a day-Purim Katan, the 14th of
Adar I in a leap year--that has hasa unique and tremendous power of
prayer not countered by an obligation to drink!
Let us use this occasion to pray to the Master of the
Universe for all the right things. The collective Jewish people is living
through difficult times and there are many things to pray for. May we
all merit to see the arrival of Moshiach very soon.
Source: Edited by Yerachmiel Tilles for Festivals
of the Full Moon from a speech by Rabbi Avraham Schorr about the
power of prayer on Purim Katan, as forwarded in an email from R. Tuvia
Natkin as downloaded from //TorahDownloads.com (The identity of the
one who took these notes on the speech is unknown.)
[Rabbi Avraham Schorr (the son of the late Rav Gedalia
Schorr, former Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas), is a prominent
Rabbi in the Flatbush district of Brooklyn, NY and a much sought after
speaker among Orthodox Jewish communities.]
GOOD YOM TOV! - The ASCENT staff