Hey, Whose Side Are You On? Part 2

Logo for Chadash NewspaperLast week we saw what makes something a machlokes as opposed to a simple argument. We explained that the point of issur is reached when the parties feel and act with separateness — that there are “two teams” — “us” and “them.” At this time, the beginning of the Three Weeks, this topic is particularly relevant, as we examine whether having different groups with different approaches and different perspectives constitutes machlokes. If being involved in a machlokes is forbidden, even without the almost-inevitably accompanying sinas chinom, loshon hora, rechilus, sheker, hotza’as shem ra, malbin pnei chaveiro b’rabim, ona’as devarim, and at times even haka’ah (hitting a fellow-Jew) and/or kelala (cursing), it certainly behooves us to know when a situation is a machlokes, and when it is diversity of opinion.

One summer many years ago, a young girl got lost in a wooded area during a hike. The entire frum community mobilized to search for her — hundreds of volunteers, buses from all over unloading all kinds of Jews, Chassidim, Misnagdim, Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Satmar, Lubavitch — everybody joined together in what we would indeed refer to as “a show of unity,” and cooperated in a search involving hundreds of square miles through unmapped, uncharted forest. People were glued to the radio; it was THE topic of conversation on everyone’s lips; massive Tehillim rallies were held; the greeting of the day was, “Nu,what’s happening with ____?” (The girl was boruch Hashem located, unharmed) It was a remarkable moment in our divided, splintered, community. (I understand that the same phenomenon occurred in Israel when the soldier Nachshon Wachsman was kidnapped by terrorists. To quote Nachshon’s mother, Esther, “At the Western Wall 100,000 people arrived, with almost no notice — Chassidim in black frock coats and long side curls swayed and prayed and cried, side by side with young boys in torn jeans and ponytails and earrings. There was total unity and solidarity of purpose among us — religious and secular, left wing and right wing, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, old and young, rich and poor — an occurrence unprecedented in our sadly fragmented society.”)

When, why, how, is that achieved?

If we step back and examine these cases, we instinctively understand the anomaly, and we don’t even understand why there’s a question! If you and I join together to look for a lost girl, or pray for a kidnapped soldier, any differences we may have in our opinions, shitos, ideas of avodas Hashem, are simply not relevant. And we would view with suspicion and puzzlement, and question the sanity of someone who would say, “Now wait just a second! There is NO WAY I am going to look for a lost girl with a Sephardi (or Ashkenazi) at my side! I just cannot bring myself to daven for a soldier together with a fellow sporting a black velvet yarmulka (or a kippah serugah).” We all understand the naturalness of unity at such moments, and we all would be shocked at any signs of division and/or antagonism. We all “get it” — instinctively.

Now, rabbosai and ladies, can we explain it? Can we intellectually define and analyze and show the roots and basis of this reality, and thus learn how to avoid machlokes, without just mouthing slogans and clichés? And be zocheh to avoid it, and achieve true shalom and unity?

The Medrash and Zohar talk about the “creation” of machlokes! “Why are the words ‘And Hashem saw that it was good’ not used on the second day of creation? Rav Yochanan… because gehinnom was created on that day… Rabbi Chaninah… because machlokes was created on that day… as Hashem created the ‘raki’a’ (the sky, usually translated as firmament) to separate and divide between the waters above and the waters below… Rav Tuvyumi elaborates: if this separateness and division, which was for the benefit of the world, for its improvement, is still the cause of Hashem refusing, so to speak, to associate the word ‘tov’ with it, certainly a ‘regular’ machlokes, which is destructive, certainly is an undesirable, untenable, situation.”

The Zohar makes clear that these two opinions are linked — that the creation of machlokes and the creation of gehinnom are two sides of the same coin. How, and in what way, are machlokes and gehinnom linked? And the Medrash itself is difficult to understand — was it really machlokes when Hakadosh Baruch Hu separated the upper waters from the lower ones? I mean, it sounds cute, great sound bite, but — machlokes? Really? As the Medrash itself says: Hakadosh Baruch Hu split them into two entities in order for the world to function properly! So why shouldn’t it say that Hashem saw that “it was good”?

The commentators explain that the upper waters represent the ruchnius roots of the beriah — everything in the gashmius world has a spiritual source, a spiritual fount which nourishes and sustains the physical item in this world, and which is its metaphysical lifeline to the Ribbono Shel Olam. Before the second day, there was no hafrada, no separation between the physical and its spiritual parent and origin. And therefore, just as the spiritual realms all proclaimed the Glory of Hashem and did, and do, nothing else — for in fact, it was only for that very purpose for which it was created — so, too, the physical “flowed” naturally from its progenitor, and had no other purpose or goal or reason-for-being other than to do the ratzon Hashem, for it was inextricably tied to its spiritual roots, which existed in a world where the only existence was Hashem and His will. It had no ego, no identity, no selfhood — only a tool of Hashem.

Ah, but then came day two.

To be continued…

As a result of, and as a follow-up to, the “Just What Are Mehadrin Standards” series, the Editor of Jerusalem Kosher News will iy”H be presenting an approximately 90-minute lecture/slideshow explaining and educating the public what to look out for when food shopping, and when eating out. The lecture will take place on Sunday July 4th,for women at 10:30 a.m.,and for men and women (and mechitzah) at 8:45 p.m. at Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham, corner Refa’im and Luz. There will be questions and answers. Hoping to see you — it will be invaluable!

Rav Malinowitz is the Rav of Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham, located in Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph, at the corner of Nachal Refaim and Nachal Luz. Many of Rav Malinowitz's shiurim can be heard at www.btya.org.

Balak 5770-Hey, Whose Side Are You On?

Logo for Chadash NewspaperYOU! Yes, you, the one reading this article:

Are you Ashkenazi or Sephardi? Chassid or Misnaged? Dati Leumi or Chareidi? Anglo
or Israeli? Belz or Satmar? Chevron Geulah or Givat Mordechai? Toldos Aharon or
Avrohom Yitzchok? Regular Lubavitch or Meshichist? Yekke or Litvish? Yeshivish or
YU? Settler or Tel Avivian? Regular Breslov or Na Nach? Bnei Braker or Yerushalmi?
Brisk or Mir? Son'im or Mechablim (you really have to be in the know to get
that reference!)? Gimmel or Shas? Hatfield or McCoy?

I have looked far and wide for weeks and weeks, and it's amazing! I couldn't
find anyone against achdus, ahavas Yisroel, and shalom! Of course,
a few fights broke out when different groups started arguing about who, then, is
responsible for the pirud (divisiveness), sinas chinam, and machlokes
that is all too prevalent amongst Klal Yisroel. Nu, nu, what's a little fight
when it's for the purpose of having shalom?

The Gemara in Sanhedrin says, "He who maintains a machlokes (just maintains
– that is, he doesn't take positive steps to prevent it, or to stop it!) violates
a prohibition…" And there are many who hold that this is a real "lav," a Torah-prohibition.

But, we all want to know, does that mean everyone has to hold the same ideas?
Isn't there room for diversity, allowing for different emphases in life, different
ways of living, different hashkofos, different outlooks? Weren't there 12
shevatim, and aren't we proud of that fact? Don't we say that they indeed
had different approaches in their avodas Hashem? Why do different
opinions sometimes break out into huge fights, and sometimes not? If we can hold
different things, and have different opinions, when is it machlokes, and
when not?

And when is it machlokes, and when is it just an argument? Is there ever
a difference? If we are in beis din over a sum of money that I may or may
not owe you, are we having a machlokes and violating an issur?

The poskim clarify that two people, and even two groups, who are having
an argument do not violate this issur. Although the Torah recommends making
compromises and concessions to restore peace – [peace, Rashi says wisely in the
name of Chazal, never ends up resulting from a knock-down hot-tempered argument
(Devarim 25:1, with Rashi)], it is not forbidden halachically.

BUT – if the dispute degenerates to the point where the parties are divided into
two camps, "us" and "them," when it becomes "personal," when there is loyalty to
one's side, and antagonism to the other, then you have a schism, machlokes,
two camps, and you probably have machlokes, cognate with chiluk, a
division. And, generally, an issur.

As long as it is a dispute, as long as it hasn't reached the two-teams point,
it is an undesirable disagreement, but not yet a machlokss.

(Do political parties represent machlokes by their very nature? Perhaps
– something to think about, at the very least.)

That is why Rashi in Parshas Korach says, in explanation of the words of the
posuk "Vayikach Korach (and Korach took), "What did he take? He took himself
to one side to be divided from amongst the congregation." So now there were "two
teams" – The Mesorah Moshes and the Korrupt Korachs. Such is a machlokes,
almost always forbidden by the Torah.

And anyone who joins a side, or even is in a position to try to settle the
and fails to do so, is in violation.

And guess what? Even if you are in the right (Whaddya mean? Of course I'm
in the right!!)
, and the other side is wrong (Wrong? They are misguided,
off-track, and horribly mistaken
– and I'm being nice!) you, nevertheless, are
obligated to make every effort that the machlokes cease. And even if the
wrong side (that's the other side, the ones who are not me) continues the
machlokes and continuously antagonizes, the right side (i.e, my side)
is still obligated to continue its efforts to make peace, and failing to do so when
possible is violating the issur. (This is learned out from Moshe Rabbeinu
who acted thusly with Korach – see Rashi to Bamidbar 16:12.)

A person who is entangled in a machlokes must make every attempt to extract
himself from it – even if his standing in his circle suffers, and he feels embarrassment.
It is also forbidden to give aid to one side of a machlokes. Even if one
side is a parent – it is the equivalent of a parent telling a child to violate the
Law of the Torah.

Next week, im yirtzeh Hashem: What are the roots of machlokes?
What is a
machlokes l'shem shamayim – isn't it (almost) always "l'shem
shamayim"? What are the practical, emotional and intellectual steps one can take
to avoid
machlokes? How can you have "two teams" – Ashkenazi and Sephardi,
Chassid and Misnaged, Dati Leumi and Chareidi, Anglo and Israeli, WITHOUT

Yes, it absolutely can be done – not through platitudes and slogans, but through
a deep understanding of the forces involved.

As a result of , and as a follow-up to, the "Just What Are Mehadrin Standards"
series, the Editor of Jerusalem Kosher News will iy"H be presenting an approximately
90-minute lecture/slideshow explaining and educating the public what to look out
for when food shopping, and when eating out. The lecture will take place on Sunday
July 4th,for women at 10:30 a.m.,and for men and women (and mechitzah)
at 8:45 p.m. at Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham, corner Refa'im and Luz. There will
be questions and answers. Hoping to see you – it will be invaluable!


a href=”http://btya.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/logo-chadash-e1275560988767.jpg”>Logo for Chadash NewspaperThis week's Torah reading has one of the most disturbing, and tragic, events
which occurred in the Midbar, on par with the episode of the spies (which resulted
in the 40-year stay in the Midbar). This is the event of Mei Merivah, the
waters of Merivah, where it was decreed that Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon HaKohen would
not be leading the Jews into Eretz Yisrael, but would pass away before entering
there. Besides the personal tragedy for them, it was a tragedy on a national scale,
for, as the Meforshim teach us, this changed the very nature of the Jews' entry,
making their capture of the Land occur through a more "natural " process, and ultimately
made possible the destruction of the Holy Temple.

Moshe (and Aharon) sinned, we are told; but amazingly, their sin is not explicitely
stated, nor clarified, by the Torah. A most cryptic possuk says: "You failed to
believe in me and to sanctify my name in the eyes of B'nei Yisrael–you will therefore
not lead the Jews into Eretz Yisrael (but rather you will die in the Midbar). "

What exactly did Moshe Rabbeinu do? Sefer Sha'arei Aharon, a contemporary sefer
which clarifies and explains basic peshat in the Chumash, Targum, Rashi, and the
major commentators, counts out no less than 23 (!) opinions from classic Meforshim
on exactly what that sin was.

We will iy"h clarify Rashi's approach, as explained and elucidated by the Maharal
in his sefer on Rashi, Gur Aryeh, and add some analysis.

Rashi famously says that HaShem told Moshe Rabbeinu to speak to the rock ; Moshe
became angry at B'nei Yisrael when they questioned if what he was going to do with
the rock was actually a miraculous intervention by HKBH, and he then hit the rock
instead (see Rashis on pessukim 10-12 and Gur Aryeh on possuk 12 ; this is the Maharal's
interpretation of Rashi))

This is all very cryptic and just about incomprehensible. What is actually the
difference between hitting and speaking to a rock to have water flow forth? Aren't
they both equally miraculous? And what in the world does this have to do with believing
in HaShem (possuk 12) ?And which sin caused it–the getting angry, or the ' hitting
– instead- of- speaking' ?

And isn't this whole incident being blown out of proportion? One small mistake,
and –!!??

Here is the Maharal's take on this (that is, my understanding of what the Maharal
is teaching) :

HaShem gave Moshe Rabbeinu a mission—to perform this miracle in front of the
entire nation of Israel (see Rashi posuk 10, who says that the entire nation was
miraculously gathered together in a way that they would all see the miracle).We
will see in a moment why speaking was crucial here(as opposed to the end of parshas
Beshalach where Moshe Rabbeinu was told to hit the rock)

Moshe Rabbeinu, having been charged with this assignment, should have reached
a peak of emunah. RamBan writes that the fruit of the tree of emunah
is bitachon, our obligation to rely on HaShem, and nothing else, in
every single thing that we do. As the Chovohs HaLevavohs writes in his introduction
to Sha'ar HaBitachon, having bitachon, truly relying on haShem that He
will be the One enabling you, is powerfully liberating! It enables one to be optimistic,
to relax, to be b'simchah, as one does what he/she does with the knowledge and realization
that one is relying on HaShem to succeed..And if I am comfortable that I am doing
the ratzon HaShem in what I am doing, I can be relaxed and serene.

On the verge of entering Eretz Yisrael, there was a requirement to break free,
as it were, from the effects of the spies' sin—-I.e, instead of crying and bemoaning
and wailing about what the future holds (as in Bamidbar 14:1), Moshe Rabbeinu would
speak to a rock, the waters would flow, and B'nei Yisrael would see that doing the
will of HaShem is as natural and successful and stress-free as any natural order
(see Rashi to possuk 12).

But B'nei Yisrael tested and taunted Moshe Rabbeinu–why this rock, why not that
rock, you know where there's a spring, what miracle, when miracle–And Moshe Rabbeinu
was angered.

BUT, says the Maharal, there is NO PLACE for anger, for stress, for anxiety,
for anything but total simchah and optimism and joy as I go to do what I feel I
am charged with–my task, my mission, whether it be in life, or at that moment!
Says the Maharal–if Moshe Rabbeinu would have ignored this 'obstacle' of the scoffers,
and just gone ahead serenely, confidentally, and joyously, and spoken to
the rock, and would have had the total emunah and bitachon and joy in HaShem
that his mission would succeed–the Kiddush HaShem of the joy and optimism with
which one performs one's mission would have once-and-for-all eradicated the meraglim's
pernicious effects.K'llal Yisrael would have entered Eretz Yisrael with Moshe Rabbeinu
at their helm, conquered the Land with their emunah, and a never-to-be-destroyed
Beis HaMikdash would have been built.

But Moshe Rabbeinu was angered.He somehow got rattled by the nation, and was
no longer joyously confident that he would successfully complete his mission.And,
in his anger, he felt he had to force the rock into submission, that his
mission had been altered, been made more difficult, now there are obstacles, we
have to beat the rock…not simchah, but anger. Not serenity, but anxiety.
Not the natural tendency for fulfillment of ratzon HaShem but browbeating into submission.

This flaw in emunah/bitachon, the loss of joy, leaving a vacuum where there could
be anger, allowed a hitting instead of a speaking.And thus Moshe was told "You,
too, cannot enter Eretz Yisrael" and, as is strongly implied in Devarim 1:37, Moshe
now becomes enmeshed in a spy-like flaw, having missed an opportunity to be mekadesh
shem Shamayim through joy and confidence in his mission and eradicate completely
the spies' pessimism and angst. He is therefore told that he, too, would not be
entering Eretz Yisrael.

The lesson, the message? Rather obvious, I would think: Serve HaShem with
The personality of an oved HaShem should not be one of a dour face, anxious,
nervous, even angry at times–but rather one radiating joy, optimism, serenity,
and good cheer.

May any zechus accruing from anyone taking this lesson of the iniquitous
effects of anger to heart, be utilized for the zechus of a refu'ah shelaymoh for
Yeshaya Shalom ben Malka Gittel

Purim and Bitachon

Rav Yonoson Eibeshitz asks the following question: In the story of Purim, there is an entire mini-story within the story, involving Mordechai; Bigsan and Seresh; the king not sleeping, having the royal diaries read to him, and rewarding Mordechai with him behing led through the city streets on the royal horse; with someone (Haman, as it turned out) leading him and calling out before him. Rav Yonoson asks, what is the point of this part of the story? The essence of the Purim story could very well have occurred without this angle: the queen invites the king and Haman to her party, and when the King asks her for her request, she says, ”Nafshi b’she’ilasi ve’ami b’vakashasi” and proceeds to accuse Haman of all that he was plotting to do. Then the King goes out to his garden. Why did that first part even happen? What was its purpose, its point?

Chazal say in Medrash Shochar Tov (a Medrash on Tehillim), quoting and explaining a posuk in chapter 22, the chapter that Esther is said to have recited upon entering Achashveirosh’s chambers, “Our forefathers have trusted in you” – this is a reference to Esther and Mordechai. “They have trusted and relied on you” – this is a reference to Esther approaching the King. In other words, Esther had to exhibit supreme bitachon in HaShem, relying on Him, as she made her way towards the King unbidden, risking her life. “They trusted and were not embarrased,” as it states, “laYehudim haysah orah v’simchah.”

Thus we see the middah of bitachon, faith and reliance on HaShem, as the catalyst of the yeshu’ah.

The Nefesh Hachaim (sha’ar 1, perek 9) writes the same about the salvation at the Yam Suf. When HaShem says to Moshe Rabbeinu, “Why are you screaming out to me? Speak to B’nei Yisroel and let them travel [into the sea],” what HaShem was saying, in effect, was that what was to happen at that point was totally dependent on their own actions. If they would travel faithfully forward, with emunah and bitachon, that in itself would cause the Yam Suf to split!

This is in consonance with what Chovos Halevavos writes at the beginning of Sha’ar Habitachon. Bitachon, besides being the obligation of a Jew, besides being an outgrowth of emunah – works! We say to HaShem, “And let us not be embarrassed, for we have relied upon you…” The degree to which a Jew truly relies upon the Ribbono shel Olam is the degree to which HaShem perfoms salvations.

Rav Avrohom, the son of the Gra, delves into the brachah of mish’an u’mivtach l’tzadikim in shemonah esrei. What is a mish’an, and what is a mivtach? These are synonyms for trust, or reliance.

He says that the modus operandi of HaShem’s salvation is to first bring a small taste of the impending yeshu’ah to the person. This is mechazek the person in his bitachon in HaShem – mish’an – and in that z’chus, the fuller yeshu’ah then comes about. This is what occurred in Mitzrayim. The miracles in Egypt allowed Bnei Yisroel to exhibit their bitachon and follow Moshe Rabbeinu into the desert, with precious few provisions, and then to actually travel towards the Egyptians when directed to by Moshe Rabbeinu. This z’chus led to the ultimate yeshu’ah at Yam Suf. So too, at the time of the Purim miracle, before Haman was hung and the Jews battled and defeated their enemies, HaShem showed them a glimmer of the yeshu’ah through Haman parading Mordechai through the streets of Shushan. This strengthened them in midas habitachon, and thus they were zocheh to the complete yeshu’ah.

And so we have our answer to the original question. The yeshu’ah on Purim coming in the merit of bitachon (as per perek 22 in Tehillim and the Medrash there) and the mahalach of that yeshu’ah being HaShem’s granting a glimpse of salvation, provide the opening for mish’an, and the ultimate salvation coming in the wake of a full-blown mivtach.

This gives new meaning to the phrases that we say and sing on Purim, as we celebrate the yeshu’as HaShem. “Lehodi’a – this (the Purim story) – shekol kovecha – all who trust in You – lo yeivhoshu – shall not be ashamed – v’lo yikalmu lanetzach – and forever shall not feel embarrassed – kol hachosim bach – all those who rely on and have bitachon in You.

Let us listen carefully to the message we are conveying as we revel in the simchah of Purim – the story, the yeshu’ah, this miracle we are celebrating, and drinking to invite complete simchah. The story of Purim teaches this lesson to all generations – lehodi’a! – that we shall extrapolate to our personal lives, to our personal needs and issues, and develop faith and reliance in HaShem, and through that be zocheh to a complete yeshu’ah!

Let us internalize this message as we make merry and revel in yeshu’as HaShem.

Ah freilichen Purim!

Mishkan – Meaning of a Bayis LaShem

In parshas Terumah, we are introduced for the first time to the idea of a bayis for Hashem
– an actual “dwelling place” (mishkan) for the Shechina down in this world. Eventually, this evolves from a temporary dwelling place, the mishkan, into a more permanent one, a house
– the Beis Hamikdash. The very concept of a “house for Hashem” is, of course, a strange, almost sacrilegious, one. Can Hashem be “found” in a particular place?

The pasuk says, “Hinei hashamayim u’shmei hashamayim lo y’chalkelucha af habayis hazeh…”
– “The heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, and surely not this temple…” (Melochim I, 8:27). And “I zeh bayis asher tivnu li…”
– Where is this house that you will build for Me?” (Yeshaya 66:1)

Of course, to fully understand this is to plumb esoteric secrets of G-dliness, the universe and Hashem’s creation, far beyond human comprehension (and certainly beyond the scope of this column). On the other hand, there must be something that we can relate to, even on our level. The Torah, being infinite and eternal, always has something to say to each generation, and to each and every Jew, on whatever level he or she may be.

If we study the famous Tefillas Shlomo, the prayer that Shlomo Hamelech recited at the inauguration of the Bais Hamikdash, we can surmise that the main function of the Beis Hamikdash was to serve not so much as a place of korbanos, but as a place of tefillah. Shlomo Hamelech pleads, “Pray in this place,” “Spread your hands to this house,” and “Pray and supplicate to You in this house.” (Melochim I, ch. 8) These are just three of the many pesukim there which clarify that the Beis Hamikdash is the quintessential makom tefillah. (Incidentally, if you have never studied
– or heard of – this tefillah, you are welcome to join us at Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham every Shabbos morning at 7:25 a.m. for our Nach shiur!) This means that our tefillos are more effective there and are more likely to be responded to by Hakadosh Baruch Hu. That is why Tefillas Shlomo is centered around Shlomo Hamelech’s plea that the tefillos of Klal Yisroel
– indeed, the tefillah of every individual in the Beis Hamikdash (including a sincere non-Jew)
– be accepted. In fact, this is actually codified in hilchos tefilloh in the Shulchan Aruch (siman 94), with the din that everyone in the world, no matter from where he or she is davening, has to be facing, concentrating on, and focusing on the Beis Hamikdash.

Shlomo Hamelech expresses this in an interesting way: “May Your eyes be open to Your servant’s supplication, and to the supplication of Klal Yisroel, to listen to them whenever they call You… And let my words be… close to Hashem Elokeinu, at all times.”

Hashem is close to us; near to us; and he thus responds to our pleas.

Even more fascinating is that the Torah expresses this very idea in this same way when it says, “Ki mi goy gadol asher lo Elokim k’rovim eilav kaHashem Elokeinu b’chol kareinu eilav.” (Devorim 4:7) Who is like Klal Yisrael in the universe, who has a G-d Who is close to them, as Hashem is when His Nation davens to Him. Hashem’s closeness to Klal Yisroel, then, is primarily manifested by Hashem listening to our tefillos! This is stated in Ashrei, as it says, “Karov Hashem l’chol korav”
– Hashem is close to us when we call Him. And it is inherent in the posuk quoted in Tefillas Shlomo, and in hilchos tefillah.

Thus, one can understand the “house for Hashem” concept as a manifestation of Hashem’s closeness to us: He is here, amongst us; He listens to and responds to our tefillos.

At the end of his introduction to the Yad Hachazaka, Rambam gives a short version of his counting of the mitzvos. Upon their conclusion he writes, “There are the 613 mitzvos…. There are also the mitzvos that the Rabbonon have instituted, that one has to obey… but he must realize that they are derabbonon, that they were not commanded by Hashem Himself at Har Sinai.”

Rambam continues, “For example, when reading the Megillah, we recognize that it is the Rabbis who told us to do so
– so that we remember the miracles that Hashem performed for us [on Purim], and how He was close then to our pleas and prayers [and saved us through them] … and we can say, Yes! It is true, that which it says in the Torah! “Ki mi goy gadol asher lo Elokim k’rovim eilav kaHashem Elokeinu b’chol kareinu eilav!”

That is the message of Purim. Yes! Hashem is close to us and listens to our tefillos!

Halevai, the Beis Hamikdosh should be rebuilt soon.