Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023

Yevamos 18: Defeating Amaleik

On this daf, we find that, according to Rav Yehudah, the spiritual bond called zikah between the widow who hasn’t undergone yibum or chalitzah and her deceased husband’s brothers doesn’t just vanish.

This idea can be understood metaphorically. It is natural that we are all drawn after material things and our selfish needs, that we are zekukim, and these subconscious drives that bind us and make us self-absorbed don’t disappear all by themselves. If we want to remove them, we have to work on them.

Rav Yitzchok of Vorka revealed that Purim is the best time for such spiritual avodah. He explains that the root of all the character defects of the nations is Amaleik, as it says in the verse: ‘Amaleik is the head of all nations’ (Bamidbar 24:20). Purim is the time when we obliterate Amaleik from within and without. Since the ultimate expression of Amaleik is selfishness, Purim is the time when we share with each other and are empowered to uplift our physical desires through the mitzvos of the day. In this manner, it is easier to act with holiness and think of our fellow Jews throughout the rest of the year (Naos Hadesheh).

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