This past week I had the opportunity to teach the high school girls, and to deliver the ladies’ shiur on Shabbos, in memory of my mother-in-law, Rivkah Bas Reb Yitzchak a”h. You are receiving this letter after a very busy and invigorating Purim experience. Although I was unable to be in Providence to enjoy the shul Seudah, Purim Parade, and other local festivities, I was able to witness all the in-school pre-Purim celebrations and to see the tremendous spirit of Purim and the smiles on the faces of our students.
Every year for the past number of years, I have been in Lakewood fundraising over Purim and am b”h able to raise a substantial amount of money for the school. The sense of achrayus and thanks that the Lakewood community has for our school for opening our doors to their children is nothing short of amazing. We thank them for their partnership.
In the Megilla, Esther finally has the king as her captive audience, and the ability to share the nefarious plot of Haman to kill her nation. When the king asks her for her wish, he is prepared to grant her up to half the kingdom; but she passes on that opportunity and, rather than “striking when the iron is hot” and coming out with Haman’s plot immediately, she invites the king and Haman to another party. Rabbi Avraham Ausband, the Telshe Riverdale Rosh Yeshiva, asks the obvious question: How could Esther risk waiting an extra day when the entire Jewish community was in danger? He answers that Esther based her decision on a verse cited by the Yalkut Shimoni, which states, “Shekol Zaro Shel Amlek Asidim Lipol Lemachar, all of the offspring of Amalek will fall tomorrow.” The Yalkut learns this from the verse in Shemos 17:9, which says of the war with Amalek, “Machar Anochi Nitzav Al Rosh Hagivaah,” that the Jews were destined to win the war while Moshe would hold the miraculous staff on the top of the mountain – tomorrow: “lemachar.” Esther learned from here that Amalek always falls lemachar, tomorrow.
Rabbi Ausband explains that Amalek and the nations of the world all live for the pleasures of today. Eisav is an example of this, when he returns from the field hungry and asks Yaakov to “pour the red stuff” down his throat, even at the expense of the Bechora, his rights as firstborn. Eisav realizes that the Bechora has special powers, but he sees things only as “here and now,” so he says, “Hiney Anochi Holech Lamus Velama Zeh Li Bechora, I am about to die, so why do I need the Bechora?”
We as Jews live lemachar; we transmit the mesorah to our children and grandchildren. We suffered the atrocities of the holocaust, but still rebuilt our families and rebuilt Torah in America and across the world.
One of the manifestations of this lemachar concept is the amount of chessed and tzedaka that is performed on Purim locally and across the country. This coming Sunday, the school will be holding its annual auction at the school, 12-2 pm, with food available for sale at this family event. We need your support, as every dollar raised provides scholarships for needy families and allows us to continue transmitting the Torah without interruption. Many of the changes that were made this year, and the ones we continue to plan for can happen only with your ongoing support. Purim ends before Erev Shabbos, but we are counting on your support “lemachar” on Sunday at the auction.
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman, Dean