Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Tzav – Zachor
12 Adar II 5774/March 14, 2014

One morning this week, as I walked to my car I saw something yellow sticking out of the mound of piled-up snow at the bottom of our driveway. I pulled it out and found the newspaper from a few weeks ago, double-bagged and perfectly dry. I had wondered why we hadn’t received the paper that week. Now I realized that the paper must have been delivered in the predawn hours after one of our many snowstorms. When my driveway was plowed the paper must have been lost in the pile of snow. Now, as the snow has finally begun to melt substantially, the paper was again visible.
In fact, all around things that have been buried beneath the snow have become visible, including bottles, branches, and grass (I almost forgot what that looked like). For the last few months it was a challenge to maneuver around our driveway, especially to back the car outout. There was snow piled up all along the perimeter of the driveway, making the blacktop area very limited. With the recent warmer temperatures it seems as if the driveway has expanded significantly. The same is true for the roads.
            Spring affords neighbors the opportunity to see each other, after being cooped up behind warm doors for the duration of the cold winter. Longer days and warmer temps allow children to spend time outdoors even after a long school day. The warmer weather makes everything seem brighter and more comfortable.
            This is true in regards to human relationships as well. When people are self-absorbed, and are callous and cold to each other, there isn’t enough space for everyone. People avoid each other because they are too busy with their own needs and desires.
            When there is a spirit of friendship and warmth however, people are far less particular about boundaries and less protective of their space. Suddenly there is room for everyone. Possessions that were heretofore kept hidden from view and selfishly hoarded, are shared and enjoyed by all.
            One of the great tactics of our nemesis, Amalek, is to breed feelings of coldness. “Asher korcha baderech – He cooled us down on our way.” Not only does Amalek seek to douse the fire of our passion for Torah and mitzvos, but he also seeks to engender feelings of coldness, apathy, and enmity for our fellow Jews.
            Purim is the celebration of Amalek’s defeat. Therefore, Purim is a holiday when we ignite our feelings of friendship and love for each other. We give charity to the less fortunate, we extend gifts to each other, and celebrate joyously together, simply because we are Jews!
As the snow melts and the roads widen, we strive to melt away the icicles that drip within us. We seek to fan the flames of unity and love for each other. We may not agree with each other, but we must love each other. Haman wanted to kill us just because we are Jews, so on Purim we celebrate together for the same reason!  
               Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos
               Freilichen Purim Sameiach,
               R’ Dani and Chani Staum

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