it is written “
Mordechai haYehudi etc. ratzui l’rov echav etc
etc. was accepted by most of his brethren”. The
(16B) clarifies that the
is expressly pointing out that Mordechai was ostracized by some members of the
explains that the cause of the parting from Mordechai was because he somewhat neglected his
learning and entered governmental public service.
The obvious question begs to be asked: We very well know that Mordechai
was not your average politician vying for the honor of occupying a seat in the government body. To the contrary, Mordechai was thrust into the forefront to take charge, instruct and guide
through precariously dangerous times. The lives of the entire Jewish people were at stake. Haman was mere months away from completely destroying the entire nation. Doesn’t
, meaning; no
, even as important as learning
, may stand in the way of saving lives?!
(18b) tells us of an incident that took place in the era of the
. The Roman governor’s daughter was murdered and the
were accused of the crime, and death was decreed upon the inhabitants of this city. To ward off this impending disaster, Papus and Lulainus, whom
stepped forward and falsely admitted their culpability for the murder of the governor’s daughter, thus sparing the entire city from certain death.
When they were hauled off to jail they met Rav Akiva who was also incarcerated there. Papus and Lulainus expressed to Rav Akiva,”How fortunate you are! You were imprisoned because you taught
; woe unto us that we have been imprisoned for inconsequential matters”. The Vilna Gaon asks; how can one possibly attribute Papus and Lulainus’s incarceration as being on account of insignificant things? They surrendered their personal freedom to save the lives of an entire
?! The only option to solve this difficulty is to recognize that anything and everything in comparison to the study of
is insignificant. No other
, can possibly equal
in importance. This was the meaning of the seemingly outlandish statement made by Rav Akiva’s cellmates.
Bearing this idea in mind, we may proceed to tackle another difficulty. We are familiar with the famous statement of
” is paramount and its performance permits casting aside any other
; it has the force to permit transgressing any ‘
mitzvas lo taase’
(negative prohibitions). This being the case, how do we begin to comprehend the
’s follow-up statement to that that
was ostracized by members of the
deduces from the
s rejection of Mordechai that
is greater than saving people. How does this coincide with the aforementioned statement classifying saving lives as dominating any other
found in the
The Vilna Gaon preempted this paradox. Of course, if one finds himself in a situation to save a life, he must put aside all other considerations, even if it calls for transgressing
to accomplish life-saving. However, it is a wholly different level to merit studying
rather than being a life-saver. If one rose to a higher level he would merit and be blessed with the opportunity to be devoted to the exclusive study of
, and the role of physically saving lives would be removed from him and thrust upon others who occupy an lower level of
. Mordechai’s occupation with this critical role of
was indicative of descending from his exalted level of
, thus prompting his associates to depart from his company.
Purim is a great day to rejoice and feast and party. There are boundless opportunities to benefit others bestowing gifts and kindness to the less fortunate. Nothing compares to the level that can be attained with engaging in the study of
especially on this holy day that we merited reaffirming and accepting the
out of feelings of love to He who miraculously saved us from doom.
Make no mistake.
The Yom Tov
of Purim is all about
, and more