The collections of Chassidic teachings have the lessons for Purim following this week’s Sidra Tizaveh. It would seem appropriate to mention the holiday. However a quick look at the calendar would show Purim is not for another month as this year 5768 is a leap year. Purim will take place in the 13th month Adar Sheni. Instead, this month Adar Rishon Purim Katan, little Purim is observed.
Purim is the holiday celebrates the Defeat of Haman the megalomaniacal Prime Minister to King Achashverosh of Persia, as told in the Book of Esther. The Talmud (Megila 6b) that normally one does not pass over a mitzvah, therefore Purim should be in the First Adar. However, a superseding consideration is offered as it is proper to connect the partial redemption of Purim with the full redemption of Pesach (see Megila 14a).
So what is the status of Little Purim? The Imrei Yossef of Spinka ZT’L quotes a story by Rav Chaim Zanzer ZT’L ZY’A about Rav Moshe Lieb of Sassov ZT’L. . Rav Moshe Lieb was wandering the streets Yom Kippur Eve in the late afternoon. The Rabbi was looking for the opportunity to do a kindness for someone; such a mitzvah would generate powerful merit with which to enter the Holy day.
Rav Moshe Lieb found a pauper and asked if he could use a shot of whiskey. The fellow was very willing and off they went to nearby saloon. After downing his drink Rav Moshe Lieb asked “would you like to go to Pripiniza where a finer grade of liquor is served?” An enthusiastic “Yes” was the reply.
After finishing the second drink and with Yom Kippur drawing closer the poor man asked his benefactor “Why if you wished to give me the good stuff did you start off with regular spirits?”
Rav Moshe LIeb explained, “I wished to do a kindness for you. So it was my intention to have you served the best whiskey available but not as a shock to your system. If you were given the higher grade whiskey first, you would not have savored if fully. Therefore, I first put you at ease and prepared you for better things to come.”
Rav Chaim Zanzer concluded “It is well known from the Holy Books that each year on the date of a particular miracle the character of that miracle is aroused. So, each year on Purim the same D-vine energies that turned things around are certainly present and lay the basis for present day and future miracles. Therefore, to properly appreciate the powerful nature of Purim G-D gave us Little Purim when the same energy is aroused,”
Little Purim contains the potential of a Purim. The Purim story reads as a series of events all following each other with an apparent cause and effect. The Talmudic sages Megila 7a struggle to find evidence of the Purim story’s prophetic content. Indeed, the proof text (Esther 9:28) proclaims that Purim will remain among the Jews throughout history. A statement that could be dismissed as hyperbole is in actuality a, prophetic vision. Purim is as close to real life everything seems to follow cause and effect but in reality G-D is unmistakenly present orchestrating events.
Even in little ways miracle happen, when one least expects it Purim happens.