THEMES of Featured Chasidic Masters Articles

Behind the Masks
Purim transcends rationality
A lottery transcends rationality. Haman cast lots when scheming to wipe out the Jews in imitation of the Jews' relationship with G-d; to "rise" to that level where intellect has no say and cannot deny him the power he wants.
The Appeal of Evil
If Vashti removes all her masks, she instantaneously loses all of her appeal and charm….the "clothes" of evil have no "emperor" within them.
Naked evil has no ability to exist or power to attract. In order for evil to exist and to gain popularity among the masses, it must be "packaged" well; it must be "dressed" in nice garments that will cover up its ugly face. If unhealthy cravings were presented without any masks, we would immediately cast them away.
Esther: Scent from Above
Kabbalah teaches that Esther was a reincarnation of Eve.
The Ari teaches that Esther was a reincarnation of Eve, the Serpent was enclothed in Haman, and Mordecai was the reincarnation of Jacob. Esther (as Eve) was bitter to Haman, who was the Serpent who had brought her to sin - and sweet to Mordecai, who, as a reincarnation of Jacob, was also the reincarnation of Adam.
Waking the King
Waking the King
The inner dimension of the soul always has the power to awaken.
When G-d's will is not done, it is as if He is asleep. The King can be awakened through self-sacrifice, such as that demonstrated by the Jews at the time of Purim. Denying one's Jewish identity afforded escape from the deadly decree but not a single Jew in Persia took this option, and this integrity and self-sacrifice woke up the king.
The forces of evil usually present themselves in garments of holiness.
Nothing that a person sees or hears is accidental. This [fallen] thought is called "Nukva", and wants to receive holiness. If a person uplifts them, his reward will be very great.
Costume Connections
In Tetzaveh we read about the unique garments of the kohanim; on Purim we dress in masquerade.
Shem miShmuel notes that the kohanim had to wear special clothes, because their service required that they draw down spiritual light from such a high source that their work demanded secrecy and modesty. So too, the spiritual illumination that Esther could bring down from the hidden worlds above to heal the desperate plight of the Jews also needed concealment.
The Power of Prayer on
By Rabbi Avraham Schorr
"Anyone who extends his hand, you must give him." This is true also regarding prayer: when we daven (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.
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