Purim 5780


The end of all miracles[1]

למנצח על אילת השחר מזמור לדוד
For the conductor, regarding a morning doe, a song for David[2]

We are taught[3] that Psalms Chapter was recited by Esther. It starts off by referring to a morning doe. The gemarra explains[4] why she decided to start her composition this way. She wanted to inform us that just like the morning is the end of the night, so too the miracles of Purim were the end of all miracles. To this, the gemarra retorts that Chanukah also had miracles. The gemarra says that Chanukah wasn’t recorded in Tanach, unlike Purim. While this may be true, its still misleading to say that Purim was the end of all miracles. What was Esther trying to convey? As well, what’s the significance of saying that the morning is the end of the night? One could just as easily say that the night is the end of the day[5].

What was the purpose of the Exodus from Egypt? It wasn’t solely to take the Jews out of physical bondage. It’s clear that the entire Exodus process, including all of its wondrous miracles, was for a purpose. The Jews were being freed to receive the Torah at Mount Sinai[6]. This is why we constantly mention the Exodus from Egypt. It’s an opportunity to express thanks for Hashem giving us the Torah[7].

However, the truth is, when the Jews arrived at Mount Sinai and received the Torah, the ultimate purpose of the Exodus wasn’t fully realized. The Jews at that time didn’t accept the Torah willingly. Hashem hung the mountain over their heads, coercing them to accept it[8]. However, we are taught that they accepted the Torah anew after the Purim miracle. This time, it was an acceptance out of love[9].

That means then that the whole purpose of the Exodus was fulfilled during the time of Purim. All of the miracles, including the Ten Plagues and the splitting of the sea, were for that moment. So that the Jews would willingly accept the Torah. This is the meaning that Purim was the end of all miracles. Meaning, the purpose of all the miracles was accomplished through Purim. The “end goal” was met. The Megillah ends[10] by saying that the Jews had light, and we are taught the light meant Torah[11]. Until that time, it was considered darkness. The morning light of Torah put an end to the darkness of night[12]. This acceptance and accomplishment are the source for all the joy on Purim.

A freilichen Purim!

[1] Based on Derashos Kesav Sofer L’Sheva Adar, Adar Sheni 5603 s.v. ולקיים פירוש רש”י

[2] Psalms 22:1

[3] Megillah 15b

[4] Yoma 29a

[5] I didn’t see the Kesav Sofer ask this question. I heard Rabbi Moshe Schapiro of Bergenfield, NJ quote it from the Kesav Sofer’s Derashos, and he subsequently told me that there are different versions of them out there. The version I found didn’t have it

[6] See Exodus 3:12

[7] Cf. Ramban to Exodus 13:16 (see https://parshaponders.com/bo-5777)

[8] Exodus 19:17; Shabbos 88a; Mechilta D’Rabbi Yishmael Masechta DeBeChodesh § 3; Mechilta D’Rashbi ad. loc.; Midrash Tanchuma Noach § 3; ibid Shoftim § 8. It’s also mentioned in passing in Avoda Zarah 2b. See https://parshaponders.com/shavuos-5778 for more on this episode

[9] Esther 9:27; Shabbos loc. cit.

[10] Ibid 8:16

[11] Megillah 16b

[12] Rabbi Schapiro said that his version of the Derashos also explained that the night is just a preparation for the next day. Sleep and rest provide the required energy to learn Torah and fulfill mitzvos the next morning, which is the end goal