A JEW SITS IN SHUSHANAND DECREES:MOSHIACH NOW!
Translated by Boruch Merkur
The Purim story unfolds inShushan HaBira, the capital cityof Achashverosh’s vast empire.Issuing forth from the royalpalace there, in Shushan, wereroyal edicts and decrees thatgoverned the subjects throughoutthe entire empire, “seven andtwenty and a hundred countries.”On a deeper level, ShushanHaBira symbolizes the capitalcity of the King, King of Kings, Alm-ghty G-d Himself. Now,since it is said of a Jew that “G-dstands with him,” therefore, hestands with the Divine strengthof “Shushan HaBira,” whereverhe may be. Thus, it is a Jew whoestablishes the conduct of the world’s inhabitants; it is withinhis power and capacity to ruleover and have an impact uponthe entire world, “seven andtwenty and a hundred countries.”Of course, the skeptics ask: Where is the legal precedent forthis claim in the Torah? At firstglance, this is merely a
(a loosely derived teaching)from
[Ch. 41, where it quotes the verse, “G-dstands with him”! What authoritygives us the right to make theclaim that a lone Jew possessesthe power to change the entire world?]The response is that it isa clear ruling in Rambam’s(purely legalistic work)
! There, in the Lawsof Repentance, Rambam writes:“Every person must see himself … as well as the entire worldas being half worthy and half liable … If one performs a singleMitzva, he inclines himself andthe entire world to the side of favor, bringing to himself andto the others salvation anddeliverance.”This law establishes that it is within the capacity of every singleJew to have an impact on theentire world, to the extent that hecan incline the judgment over theentire world to the side of favor, bringing about salivation anddeliverance to all. Indeed, thisruling supports the notion that wherever a Jew is to be found,he is at the level of “ShushanHaBira,” which governs theconduct throughout all “sevenand twenty and a hundredcountries.”Now, since the balance of power regarding judgment overthe entire world is in the handsof the Jewish people – by meansof their service of G-d (expressedin their action, speech, andthought) – clearly, “salvation anddeliverance” is first experienced by the individual Jew who bringsabout the favorable judgment.Since each individual mustacknowledge and proclaim,“the world was created for me”(Sanhedrin 37a), it is understoodthat when the redemption beginsto unfold in a manner of “Andyou, the Jewish people, will be gathered one by one,” theprocess starts with this Jew! At first glance, the question is begged: How does one summonsuch arrogance and self-indulgence to say that when theJewish people need to be savedfrom exile, all the Jewish peopleremain as they are for a moment while the redemption begins tounfold for this individual?! A Jew responds by saying thatthe connection of the essence of his soul with the very essence of G-d (the true Redeemer) is itself an essential bond. This bond isovertly expressed by means of Torah and Mitzvos. However,even prior to the considerationof his commitment to Torah andMitzvos, there is an essentialconnection of the soul to theessence of G-d. It is not merely a bond between two distinct things, but a unity that is “
–entirely one” (in a manner thatis superior to the unity describedas one being a “chariot to G-d,”discussed earlier). Since a Jew and the essence of G-d are“entirely one,” a perfect union,there is absolutely nothing thatcomes between them; there is justthe Jew and the Divine essence!In this light it is readilyunderstood that the entire world was indeed created for theindividual Jew, to the extent that“G-d stands with him.” Thus, theredemption first unfolds for him.
(From the address of Purim 5742,bilti muga)
8 Adar 5772