Why do we dress up on Purim? Is it all an illusion?
Contributed by Rav Nissim Mordechai Makor
We have to realize that the physical world is an illusion. Science has proved that all matter is just electrons spinning around protons and neutrons at incredibly high speeds. If you had to stop the electron, the space the three components would take up is considerably less than what it looks like. Also science has proved that time doesn’t exist. The Zohar talked about this 2000 years ago.
Most people trust science, yet they don’t live these scientific concepts. People still believe that the Mercedes in the garage is real. Where do you stand???
So why do we dress up on Purim?
Purim comes around to teach us that this world is a con. We wear costumes to emphasize this point. The only real reality is the spiritual world.
Don’t get caught up in the physical world.
One of the reasons the terrible decree came upon the Jewish people at Purim was that the Jewish people had started to assimilate with the non Jews. They saw Persia as the capital of the world and were proud to be citizens of the Empire. The started to forget their Jewishness and began to mix with the non Jews and adopt their customs, for example, they went to the kings party.
If we look back into our history, we will find that whenever we start to assimilate, the worst tragedies befall us. Some glaring examples are, Spain and Germany. The Jews in Germany were foremost German Jews, not Jewish Germans. This is a big problem for our nation. We are allowed to work with the non Jews, but we are not allowed live amongst them. If we live amongst the non Jews, we start to adopt their customs and guaranteed one or two generations later, we find that we have lost many poor souls to the non Jews.
The common thinking among modern Jews is that they find a house that they would like to buy and then look for a synagogue nearby. It should be the other way around, that you find a Shul and Rabbi you like and then look for a house in that area.
Be careful with this idea. It is very easy to fall into this trap and get caught up with the modern secular world. Technology is moving ahead at such a pace. Everything looks shiny, but underneath the physical world is an illusion.
We all fall into this trap sometimes. The secret is to diminish our desires for physicality. Look at the Tzadikim and you will see that they shunned physicality completely. Don’t just read about them and be in awe, try and emulate them, little by little.
The following is an idea from Rabbi Mendel Kessin.
He asks the question, what is the consciousness of Amalek? As always there are many explanations, but he brings an idea which is unique.
He says that the consciousness of Amalek is that they always look for an escape route. What does this mean?
He says that at Har Sinai, when Bnei Yisrael excepted the Torah, the whole world cringed because suddenly everybody was responsible for ALL their actions. We no longer had an out or an excuse.
Even though Amalek knew that they would be defeated, they could not live this the idea of not having an escape route. They wanted to destroy this idea and this thinking.
Remember when we stood on Mount Sinai and proclaimed, Na’Aseh veNishmah, we signed a contract for eternity. Just because in this incarnation, we are not into Judaism that much, does not mean that we can choose what we want to do and what we don’t want to do. This is the thinking in today’s secular world, where our jobs and businesses run us ragged, we compromise with the religion, (see story below). Be careful, this is the consciousness of Amalek. Don’t fall to it.