Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

My Take On the News


Nissim the Barber and His Divrei Torah

Nissim the barber greeted his patrons, who enjoy his sharp insights together with the rhythmic clipping of his equally sharp scissors, with great joy this week. In the background, Purim music blared from a speaker as he went about his work. The songs “LaYehudim,” “V’nahafoch hu,” and other seasonal classics echoed through the air.

Rabbosai,” Nissim said, raising his voice as he looked intently at his customers, “Chazal say that we are supposed to be more cheerful and joyous in Adar. Why are you all so serious?” He proceeded to perform a little song and dance as he continued expertly cutting hair.

When it was my turn in the chair, Nissim waved his scissors imperiously and asked in a thunderous tone, “Do you know the source of the requirement to drink until you do not know the difference between arur Haman and boruch Mordechai?”

“What is it?” I asked.

“I heard a very nice explanation,” he said.

I waited patiently.

“As you know,” Nissim said, “King Achashverosh gave the Jews permission to take revenge on their enemies. Do you know what the other nations did? They were afraid of the Jews, as the megillah tells us, and many of them disguised themselves as Jews.”

“And?” I prompted him.

“And how was it possible to distinguish between the Jews and the goyim? It’s simple! Everyone was made to drink until they were drunk, and then they were told to say ‘boruch Mordechai,’ but the drunk goyim said, ‘Arur Mordechai and boruch Haman!’ That’s how they were exposed.”

“Very nice, Reb Nissim,” I said.

“Wait! There’s more,” he replied. “You are certainly aware that when the Gemara lists the female nevios, it includes only Sorah Imeinu but not the other imahos. But why? All four of the imahos were nevios.”

“Is that so?” I asked.

“Yes, of course,” the barber replied. “The midrash says it explicitly: ‘Rabi Chaggai says in the name of Rabi Yitzchok that the imahos were nevios.’ Rashi also makes this statement in Parshas Vayeitzei, where he tells us that the imahos were nevios and knew that Yaakov was destined to become the father of twelve shevotim. So why is it that only Sorah is listed as a neviah in the Gemara and the midrash?”

“All right, what’s the answer to this question?” I asked.

“I have heard three teirutzim,” Reb Nissim said. “The first is that Sorah Imeinu was the only one of the four imahos who prophesied about the future, as we find in the case of Yishmoel, whereas the other imahos prophesied only about the things that would happen in their days. Second, Sorah was a neviah on her own merit; the Gemara says that she was named Yiskah because she was sochtah—she saw—with ruach hakodesh. The other imahos, however, were able to prophesy only because of their husbands.”

“What about the third answer?”

“I’ll have to call you later when I remember it,” Reb Nissim replied. Later that night, he called me and said, “The Sifsei Chachomim offers the third teirutz: that the other imahos had nevuos only about themselves and not about others. By the way,” Reb Nissim added, “you really don’t have to mention my name if you decide to quote this in the newspaper.”

“What does all this have to do with Purim?” I asked.

Reb Nissim guffawed. “Are you joking?” he said. “The list of the seven nevios is in Maseches Megillah! And the last of the seven was Esther.”

Who Shechted Rabi Zeira?

The maggid shiur of our daf yomi shiur is an exceptional talmid chochom, a man with vast breadth of knowledge and an incredibly incisive intellect. Perhaps that is only to be expected from the son of Rav Shimshon Dovid Pincus. I have learned quite a lot from Rav Eliyohu Pincus over the years, and I have always been amazed by the fact that there is no question on any subject, no matter how esoteric or deep, for which he does not have an answer that is both scintillating and satisfying.

On a more lighthearted note, though, Rav Eliyohu once told us the following: “Everyone knows the story in the Gemara about the seudas Purim held by Rabbah and Rabi Zeira. The Gemara says that they became drunk together, and Rabbah got up and shechted Rabi Zeira. The next day, he davened for him and Rabi Zeira was resurrected. Now, someone once asked his maggid shiur, ‘How is it possible that Rabbah shechted Rabi Zeira? How could the great Amora Rabbah commit such an act?’ The maggid shiur replied, ‘There is actually a different version of the text that says that it was Rava, rather than Rabbah.’

“The talmid was puzzled. ‘Even if it was Rava, the question still stands,’ he pointed out.

“The maggid shiur shook his head. ‘I have answered your question about Rabbah by telling you that he did not commit this deed,’ he said. ‘Now you wish to ask me a question about Rava. That is a different question. Do you expect me to have an answer to every question?’

“In a similar vein,” Rav Eliyohu continued, “someone once asked his maggid shiur why the chazzan begins Shacharis on Shabbos at Shochen Ad, while he begins at the word ‘Hamelech’ on the Yomim Noraim. The maggid shiur replied, ‘Because the chazzan for Pesukei Dezimrah finishes davening before Shochen Ad on Shabbos but continues until ‘Hamelech’ on the Yomim Noraim.’

“The questioner wasn’t satisfied. ‘But why does the chazzan for Pesukei Dezimrah finish at different times?’ he persisted.

“‘Ah,’ the maggid shiur replied, ‘that is a different question….’”

The Origin of a Kapitl

Have you ever seen an auto mechanic who has a shtender with a sefer on it at the entrance to his garage?

Reb Shlomo Gilkarov, scion of an illustrious family and talmid muvhak of Rav Yehuda Tzadkah and Rav Benzion Abba Shaul, is a brilliant electrician and auto mechanic, as well as an expert on the proper use of time. He may well be the greatest talmid chochom among all the country’s electricians, and the greatest electrician among the talmidei chochomim. If you ever need a new battery for your car, or you need to replace some other part, I would refer you to him, especially if you are looking for a professional who is exceptionally meticulous about his financial dealings. And I would also refer you to him if you are interested in hearing a good vort. You may recall that I wrote in the past about his comment on the very first mishnah of Maseches Megillah.

What’s that? You don’t remember it? Well, I’ll repeat it here. The Mishnah states, “The megillah is read on the eleventh, the twelfth, the thirteenth, the fourteenth, and the fifteenth, no less and no more.” Rashi comments, “Not less than eleven and not more than fifteen”—that is, the megillah may not be read before the 11th of Adar or after the 15th. Rav Benzion Abba Shaul points out that, at first glance, Rashi does not seem to add anything to the mishnah with this comment. What further explanation does he provide? Rav Benzion explained that the words “no less and no more” in the mishnah might have been understood to mean that the megillah must be read for exactly five days, from the eleventh through the fifteenth of Adar, no more and no less. Rashi therefore stresses that the words “no less and no more” refer to the dates of its reading, and that the mishnah tells us that it may not be read before or after those dates.

This week, I returned to Reb Shlomo’s workshop for three reasons. The first, of course, was to hear a novel dvar Torah, preferably one about Purim. The second was to visit the hardware store that opened next door, which is owned by his son, Reb Yehonasan Gilkarov. The third reason, which was much less significant than the first two, was that one of my front headlights was stubbornly refusing to work.

Reb Shlomo greeted me with great excitement. Turning to me and to another customer, who had just completed his business, he said, “Do you know who said the words, ‘Aromimcha Hashem ki dilisoni’?”

“Are you kidding with us?” I asked him. “It’s a posuk in Tehillim! Surely the words were written by Dovid Hamelech.”

“Nope,” he replied.

“Well, don’t tell me that the posuk comes from Esther Hamalkah,” I said.

“Just about,” Reb Shlomo said unflappably. “Those words were spoken by Mordechai after Achashverosh ordered Haman to lead him around the city on the royal horse.”

I was surprised by this revelation, and he continued, “The Midrash says that when Haman brought out the royal garments and the king’s horse, he went to Mordechai and said, ‘Last night I was preparing a rope to hang you with, but Hashem was preparing royal garments for you. I asked the king to have you hanged, and he told me to put you on the horse.’ Upon hearing this, Mordechai began praising Hashem with the words of that posuk. He said, ‘I will praise You, Hashem, for You have lifted me up and have not allowed my enemies to rejoice over me.’ His talmidim recited some of the following pesukim: ‘Sing to Hashem, His righteous ones, and give thanks to His sacred Name. For His anger is one moment, and we live in His desire. At night, one will go to sleep in tears, but in the morning there will be song.’ Some of the following pesukim were Haman’s words: ‘I said in my tranquility that I would never stumble…. You hid Your face, and I was frightened.’ The following pesukim then quote Esther: ‘I will call out to You, Hashem, and I will plead with Hashem. What is to be gained from my blood, if I descend to the grave?’ Then the Jewish people recited the words, ‘You have turned my eulogies into dancing for me; You opened my sackcloth and girded me with joy.’ Finally, the ruach hakodesh announced, ‘So that my soul will sing to You and will not be silent. Hashem, my G-d, I will give thanks to You forever.’”

This was an entirely new perspective on a kapitl in Tehillim that we all recite every day.

The Enemy of the Jews

Ten years ago, the chareidi community attended a million-man protest in Yerushalayim. Last week, there was an article in the Israeli publication Haderech revisiting that historic event. Personally, however, I was reminded of a massive demonstration that took place fifteen years earlier, in the year 5759/1999, when the community came out to protest against the Supreme Court. That was a historic event as well, and probably just as significant and traumatic. It later became known as the protest of half a million. At that time, as always, the Supreme Court was pushing the religious community into a corner while pursuing a clear agenda of destroying chareidi life in Israel, and it seemed that no one would be capable of opposing them.

The protest at the time was triggered by three rulings of the Supreme Court. One of those rulings was their decision that the legal status of “Toraso umnaso,” the status of a full-time learner that earns an exemption from the draft, was illegal, which ultimately prompted the government to pass the Tal Law. Second, the court had ruled that the Knesset, rather than the botei din, had the authority to decide on the division of the assets of a married couple. And finally, the court had forced the religious council in Yerushalayim to include a Reform or Conservative representative. Rav Ralbag, who refused to cooperate with the court’s ruling, had been ordered to pay a fine, and boxes were positioned at various points at the demonstration site for the participants to contribute coins to help defray the cost. Rav Ralbag arrived at the collection office with large bags filled with coins.

The three Moatzos Gedolei HaTorah met together, along with the chief rabbis and the rabbonim of the national religious community, and a date was set for the protest. Menachem Porush, the organizer of the protest, arranged for a gathering of askanim and other influential figures in the religious community to be held on the day before the demonstration; he hoped to get his message out to the media with this high-profile event. I was present at the Central Hotel for that gathering, and I had the privilege of meeting a relatively young yet well-known rov by the name of Rav Dovid Yosef—the son of Rav Ovadiah Yosef, of course. There were speeches from a number of distinguished rabbonim—including Rav Simcha Kook, who wept openly as he spoke—and young politicians, some of whom are old men today. Chareidi journalists were present, as was the indefatigable Menachem Porush. The participants spoke about this modern-day form of anti-Semitism, and Rav Ovadiah Yosef inveighed against the judges of the Supreme Court, whom he described as wicked, evil, and treacherous.

Then it was Rav Dovid Yosef’s turn to address the gathering. He spoke tersely, referring to Chief Justice Aharon Barak with the megillah’s description of Haman: “tzoreir haYehudim—the enemy of the Jews.” The resultant outcry was not long in coming.

Menachem Porush had organized the gathering so that the media would report on his speech and those of his colleagues, and on the demonstration and its goals, but Rav Dovid’s harsh words for Barak took center stage. The media went wild, much as Haman was filled with rage when Mordechai refused to bow to him, and the news programs on the radio and television, as well as the newspaper headlines on the following day, focused obsessively on his comments. The planned demonstration received barely any attention—although the media mentioned that Prime Minister Netanyahu had asked for it to be called off—while the Supreme Court and its chief justice were in the national spotlight.

Rav Dovid Yosef was interviewed on the Galei Tzahal radio station and explained his comments. “Let me tell you what happened,” he said. “I spoke out against Justice Eligon, who referred to our community as parasites.” Oded Eligon, who had been the president of the Tel Aviv Magistrates’ Court, had spoken at a retirement party for another judge and had chosen to slander the chareidi community while he was at it. “We have turned into a target for leeches,” he said, using that demeaning term to refer to the chareidi community.

“He made it sound as if we are not even human,” Rav Dovid continued his account. “Someone told me that Justice Aharon Barak shook Eligon’s hand and said to him, ‘You spoke well.’ When I heard this, my reaction was that if Judge Barak said that, then he is an enemy of Judaism. If he views us as parasitic creatures, then he is an enemy of Yiddishkeit. If religious people are not worthy of being viewed as human beings in his eyes, then he is an enemy of Yiddishkeit.”

The interviewer tried to object to Rav Dovid’s comments, but the rov toughened his stance. “An enemy of the Jews is someone who hates Jewish people. I do not think that Aharon Barak hates Jews, because he is himself a Jew, but ‘bagatz’ [the term for the Supreme Court] has the same gematria as ‘Haman.’ … Barak considers the religious community to be like lice, and we are afraid that he won’t stop at words and will actually use poison against them. That is why I referred to him as an enemy of Judaism. If you would like to put me on trial for it, I am ready for that.”

Indeed, the judicial system began making preparations to press charges against Rav Dovid Yosef and Rav Menachem Porush for incitement and similar crimes. They even had the audacity to proclaim that they were considering indicting Rav Ovadiah Yosef as well. The Supreme Court also received petitions against them. Uzi Fogelman, the head of the High Court of Justice Division of the State Attorney’s Office at the time (and today the deputy chief justice of the Supreme Court), represented the state. The interviewer asked Rav Dovid about the proposed indictment, and he said fearlessly, “My father’s view of the judges of the Supreme Court is nothing new. It is known that he completely rejects their conduct. In these judges’ view, the religious community always automatically has the lower hand. I am proud of what my father said.”

When he was asked if it was correct for a criminal investigation to be opened, Rav Dovid replied that Justice Eligon should be investigated instead. “He incited against us two weeks ago, and no one reacted to his slanderous words,” he said, “but the attorney general has already rushed to open an investigation against us. Which is worse, calling someone an enemy of the Jews or referring to innocent observant Jews as lice?”

The petitions to the court were ultimately rejected. Justices Aharon Barak, Yitzchok Zamir, and Mishael Cheshin unleashed some blistering criticism against Rav Dovid and the other would-be defendants, but they ruled that their statements were not outside the bounds of freedom of expression.

Tibis Story

On the day the Knesset approved the new budget, I was in the lounge behind the main chamber, where I overheard Ahmed Tibi telling a joke. Bemoaning the state of the economy, he let out an exaggerated sigh and said, “There used to be a time when money had value. We could send little Ahmed to the grocery store with five lirot, and he would come home with a loaf and a half of bread, sugar, coffee, a few cans of preserves, a bottle of oil, a bottle of soda, and cigarettes. His two shopping baskets would be laden with goodies. But today … well, today there are security cameras!” he concluded.

Here is another amusing story that I heard in the Knesset. The Minister of Religious Affairs once discovered, to his chagrin, that he needed to attend no fewer than eight functions on a single night. He carefully planned his itinerary for the evening, deciding to begin with a wedding in Yerushalayim where the baalei simcha had emphasized that the chuppah would be held before shekiyah. His plan was to drive from Yerushalayim to the center of the country and then to the south, in the hope that he would manage to show up at all eight events.

Arriving at the wedding hall just before shekiyah, the minister discovered that he was one of the first people to show up at the simcha. He waited anxiously for the chuppah to begin, but the minutes ticked by and there was no sign of the baalei simcha. Finally, he turned to one of the guests and asked, “When does your community hold that shekiyah is?”

The man looked at him gravely and replied, “When the Rebbe arrives….”

The same minister related that one of his fellow party members was sitting shiva in Telz Stone, and he decided to drive to the shiva home along with a couple of other Shas party members to pay his condolences. When Ahmed Tibi heard about their plans, he asked to come along and they consented. On the way, Tibi asked about the protocol in a shiva home, and they replied, “It’s simple. You need to say three words: ‘Min hashomayim tenuchamu.’” Ahmed practiced reciting the phrase and managed to pull it off successfully. Another visitor, Minister Uri Ariel, recited the Ashkenazic version: “Hamakom yenachem eschem b’soch she’ar aveilei Tzion v’Yerushalayim.

During the drive back to Yerushalayim, Tibi was visibly agitated. “Did you hear what that settler said?” he demanded of his traveling companions. “Even in a house of mourning, he has to peddle his nationalistic slogans!”

A Serious Halachic Question

I am hoping that if I pose a question here, perhaps I will receive an answer. I assure you that this is not “Purim Torah” but an actual, genuine shailah.

Last week, someone told me that a distinguished yungerman had said that it is prohibited to crush an empty plastic bottle on Shabbos. I wanted to find out the source of this halacha, and I visited the yungerman to hear it directly from him.

As it turns out, he had been misquoted. “It isn’t assur to crush a bottle,” he said. “It’s assur only to close the bottle cap before disposing it. And that isn’t necessarily the halacha; it is merely the opinion of one authority. The reason,” he explained, “is that one would actually expect it to be prohibited to place a cap on a bottle at any time, because of the prohibition of boneh or mesakein or something of the sort. The only reason it is permitted is that the cap is meant to be removed and replaced, which means that one is not putting it on the bottle permanently. But when a person is about to dispose of a plastic bottle, he will certainly not be removing the cap again. Therefore, placing the cap on the bottle is a permanent act, and it might indeed be prohibited. This is similar to the argument that one should not close the tabs of a diaper before placing it in the trash, since it will be sealed permanently.”

“Then that has nothing to do with whether the bottle may be crushed,” I pointed out. “Even if I discard a plastic bottle that is intact, or even if I don’t discard it at all, it would be forbidden to replace the cap on any bottle that will not be used again.”

“That’s correct,” he said. “I never said anything about crushing a bottle.”

“Do you believe that a person should be concerned about this?” I asked him.

“I’m not a posek,” he replied. “Try to research the question.”

Well, that is why I am quoting it here, in the hope that I will receive some answers.

Rav Avigdor Millers Unforgettable Taanis Esther

Rav Avigdor Miller once spoke about an experience on Taanis Esther that he felt he would never forget. “When I was a young man, I served as a gabbai in the yeshiva,” he said. “At Mincha on Taanis Esther, right before Purim, I opened the aron kodesh as I did on every fast day, forgetting that we do not recite Avinu Malkeinu on Taanis Esther. An elderly rosh yeshiva turned to me and chided me, ‘What are you doing? You are opening the aron kodesh for no reason! That is a lack of kavod for the tzibbur and for the Torah!’

“I will never forget that experience,” Rav Miller continued. “Sixty years have passed since that time, and I still remember on every erev Purim that we do not recite Avinu Malkeinu at Mincha. On Shiva Asar B’Tammuz, we do recite it. On Asara B’Teves, we do recite it. But at Mincha on Taanis Esther, we do not. I have never forgotten that. It wasn’t a terrible sin on my part, but it was something wrong, and the rosh yeshiva taught me a lesson that I will never forget.

“That was Moshe Rabbeinu’s task: to make sure that Klal Yisroel would be a great nation forever and would never forget what they had learned,” Rav Miller continued, referencing Moshe’s act of shattering the Luchos. “The stronger the statement, the more we will remember it. This benefited the nation for all eternity.”

In the Eye of the Beholder

Reading the reports in the chareidi media in Eretz Yisroel about the recent wave of local elections, I couldn’t help but laugh. Every newspaper covered the results of the same election in the same city from a different angle, focusing on the aspect that is most flattering to its particular sector. Regarding the election in Bnei Brak, for instance, Hamodia trumpeted Chanoch Zeibert’s victory and made no mention of the makeup of the city council, where Degel HaTorah achieved an excellent showing. Hamevasser, for its part, emphasized the large representation of the general chassidish party on the city council, while Yated Neeman reported on Degel HaTorah’s achievement in becoming the largest party on the municipal council. Haderech, the publication of the Shas party, had its own angle, focusing on the increase in the Shas representation on the council.

I am merely reporting facts; I am not criticizing anyone. But I can’t help but remember the old joke about the race between a Russian and an American, in which the American won and the Russian lost. As the joke has it, the American media reported it simply as follows: “In a competition between an American runner and a Russian, the American won.” In Russia, however, the report was phrased somewhat differently: “In a recent race, the Russian contestant scored a significant accomplishment and arrived in second place, while the American contestant arrived second to last.”

An Answer from Bava Kamma

Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel once delivered a shiur shortly before Purim regarding a question posed in the Gemara in Bava Kamma: If an object is thrown off a roof, is it considered to be broken only when it actually hits the ground and breaks, or is it already viewed as broken from the moment it is dropped, since it is inevitable that it will be destroyed? One of the bochurim commented that someone had remarked in Rav Shmuel Rozovsky’s shiur that if the object is considered broken as soon as it begins its descent, a question concerning Megillas Esther can be resolved.

“What is that?” Rav Nosson Tzvi asked.

“After Haman led Mordechai through the streets, the posuk says that he returned home ‘mourning and with his head covered,’” the talmid explained. “These two descriptions seem to be out of order. His head was covered because his daughter had poured refuse on him, and he became a mourner only after that occurred, when she saw what she had done and jumped off the roof to her death. But if a vessel is considered broken as soon as it is dropped, then Haman’s daughter might have been viewed as having died as soon as she leapt off the roof, even before his head was covered with the waste that she spilled on him.”

Rav Nosson Tzvi found this thought entertaining.

Personally, however, I am somewhat puzzled by it. If that argument holds true, then why wasn’t the waste material viewed as having landed on Haman’s head as soon as it was spilled as well?

A Lesson from the Gadol Hadors Funeral

On Shushan Purim 5746/1986, Rav Uri Zohar spent three hours as part of the huge crowd that escorted Rav Moshe Feinstein, the posek hador, to his final rest on Har Hamenuchos. Rav Uri followed the procession until it reached the cemetery. Rav Moshe had passed away in New York on Sunday night, the night of the 14th of Adar Sheini, and on the following day, Taanis Esther, tens of thousands of people accompanied his mitah to the airport. Rav Moshe was then brought to Yerushalayim on Shushan Purim and taken to his final resting place. Rav Uri later viewed this experience as a mussar haskel: “If I was capable of fulfilling all the mitzvos of the day meticulously on Purim of 1986, despite spending three hours at a funeral, then it must certainly be possible to learn Torah for three hours on any other Purim without worrying that it might prevent me from fulfilling the mitzvos of mishloach manos, reading the megillah, or the seudah.” From that day onward, he made sure to learn for three hours every year on Purim.

Rav Uri brought the same attitude to Purim that he took to every other aspect of life: He was thorough and goal-oriented, doing exactly what he was obligated to do. If a person is supposed to entertain guests on Purim, he decided, then he would do so as well, even in his tiny, rudimentary apartment.

On that note, Rav Uri once told us that one of the mispallelim in Chanichei HaYeshivos had approached him on Friday night after davening and had asked if he could join him for the seudah. “Of course,” Rav Uri replied. As he headed home, he realized that an additional guest was tagging along as well, and he murmured, “Gam zu letovah.” When he arrived at his home, Rav Uri told his wife that he had brought guests and then took his place at the table. To his surprise, the first guest strode directly toward the kitchen, peeked into the pots, and then turned around and headed out the door. “Let’s go,” he said to his friend, who was still waiting for him on the threshold. “We’ll find somewhere else to eat!”

Rav Uri Zohar was a master storyteller, and he was also known for his wit. His talent as an entertainer was often harnessed for the purpose of kiruv. Whenever he grew concerned that he was speaking too harshly, he would lighten the mood with a story or a joke. He once remarked lightheartedly, “In my house, we believe in equal sharing of the burden. My wife washes the dishes, and I wash the floor.” On another occasion, he quipped, “In my house, I am the supreme authority. No one else can tell me what time to wash the floor!”

In one drosha, Rav Uri said, “I do not understand the billionaires who prefer to hold on to their money rather than donating it to kollelim or to Lev L’Achim. Any of those people would willingly give up his fortune in his old age, when he is close to death, to extend his life by another couple of years. But that means that his fortune is worth two years to him. Why, then, would he invest his entire life in it?” Rav Uri paused for a moment, struggling to come up with an example of a fabulously wealthy person, and someone in the audience suggested, “Bill Gates!”

“Who?” Rav Uri said quizzically.

“Bill Gates,” someone else said. “From Microsoft.”

Rav Uri shrugged. “I’ve never heard of him,” he replied.

Everyone laughed, but there was also an important lesson to be learned. Rav Uri Zohar had never heard of Bill Gates! “I hope that he won’t be insulted,” Rav Uri added. “I am sure that if you mention Uri Zohar to him, he will also not be familiar with the name.”

The Path to Simcha

In conclusion, let me share a brief comment from Rav Gershon Edelstein on the topic of simcha. The Shulchan Aruch begins with the words “shivisi Hashem l’negdi tomid—I have placed Hashem before me at all times.” At the very end of Orach Chaim, the halachos of megillah conclude with the words, “V’tov lev mishteh tomid—A man with a cheerful heart will always have a banquet.”

Rav Gershon remarked that these two instances of the word “tomid” indicate a connection between these two ideas. If a person observes the first line of the Shulchan Aruch by living with constant awareness of Hashem, then he will experience constant simcha as well.

On that note, let me wish you a freilechen Purim.



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