Purim Torah from Rav Eliezer Berland: Transforming judgment to mercy

Purim is the time to transform judgments to mercy


(Translated and transcribed from the original Hebrew.)

The following lesson was given over by Rabbi Eliezer Berland, shlita, on the evening of the  14th of Adar, Purim HaMeshulash 5761, before the reading of the Megilla.

Likutei Halachos, Hilchos Bechor Beheimah Tehorah 4:17:

 “This is the aspect of the mystery of the stretching forth of the golden scepter, for the golden scepter represents the thirteen attributes of Divine mercy. It is the scepter of Kingship (Malchus) —the fear of Kingship—yet it is a golden scepter, made of the gold of the side of holiness.

“Gold is greater than silver, for gold is the embodiment of the spiritual source of gevurot.”

On Purim, incredible gevurot (harsh judgements) were revealed, gevurot that were to result in the “destruction, killing, and annihilation” of the of the Jewish people. Yet these gevurot were transformed into the thirteen attributes of mercy. Esther raised them up to their spiritual source.

During the three days of fasting, she raised Malchus up to NetzachHod, and Yesod, and then the gevurot were transformed into the epitome of mercy, to a greater extent even than that which occurs on Yom HaKippurim.

Gold is the spiritual source of all the judgements [which are manifestations of gevurot] and is on the highest level. It is more precious than silver [which symbolizes chessed or loving-kindness], since the gevurot themselves are an enormous chessed.

That is to say that at their source in the upper world, the judgements (dinim/gevurot) are more precious than chessed, since judgement and awe/fear are themselves amazing manifestations of chessed. It is precisely through them that all the harsh judgements can be cancelled.

The more gevurot there are, the greater the mitigation/sweetening is afterward. There were strong gevurot [hanging over the Jewish people in Esther’s time] “to destroy, kill, and annihilate” them.

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“It was the very intensity of the gevurot that enabled them to be turned into chessed during the three days of fasting.”


For the Refuah Shleima of Rav Eliezer ben Etya and L’ilui Nishmat Tzvi Ben Moshe Reuven

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