Purim is the great holiday of redemption; it is the holiday of the exodus from exile. The wisdom of Kabbalah tells us about the history of the evolution of mankind starting from Adam onward. Before him there were human beings and civilizations but Adam embodies the beginning of a new history, the history of the spiritual development of humanity.
He was the first to discover that living was not just to survive in the plane of this world but to ascend from this world to the next level, to the spiritual world, and to become a totally different entity, to become a human.
The word “Adam” stems from the Hebrew word “Edame” (to resemble), to resemble the Creator who exists on a different dimension. And since he was the first to discover the possibility of ascending from the animal state to the human level, to the level of resembling the Creator, he is called Adam.
But it was only Abraham who succeeded in realizing resembling the upper force, ascending the levels of the still, vegetative, and animate nature all the way to the human level, by feeling that he was in a new dimension. This happened 20 generations after Adam.
What is the reason that Abraham succeeded in doing so? It was because humanity, who were only a small number of people populating ancient Babylon at the time, suddenly found itself at an egoistic dead end.
The good relations between the Babylonians who lived as one family suddenly became filled with lack of trust, theft, and abuse of each other, such egoistic relationships from which they didn’t know where to go. And they thought: “We must rise to the heavens and discover the reason for what is happening to us.” At this time in ancient Babylon, two leading personalities stood out representing two different viewpoints: the ideologue and scientist of his time Abraham and the king of Babylon Nimrod.
According to Abraham’s ideology, humanity existed in order to unite above the ego that keeps people apart. By uniting they could attain the next level of their development.
The ego intentionally brought them to a dead end so that they wouldn’t succumb to it, otherwise it would bring them to their mutual annihilation. They had no other choice but to simply connect above it. Moreover, there is such a force in nature that can be drawn so that it can help us perform this action.
Nimrod on the other hand, believed that they had to follow a different path: to disperse all over the world like a family that cannot live together and get along with one another. They had to disperse and to go in different directions so that everyone would feel good.
Thousands followed Nimrod and only a few followed Abraham. According to the well known historian Titus Flavius Josephus, the Babylonians dispersed all over the world and began to settle in India, China, Africa, Russia, and Europe. Later they grew into nations that laid the foundations of the present general global civilization. Abraham, on the other hand, gathered his followers who agreed with him and understood his viewpoint, and they followed him to the land of Canaan, the location of the current state of Israel.
The nations that dispersed all over the world began to be called by their places of origin, their families, their tribes, or the place they settled in: Germans, Russians, etc. Abraham’s followers, however, called themselves “Israel,” stemming from the Hebrew words “Yashar –El” meaning straight to the Creator. This means that they were focused directly on the upper force, on the upper plan of nature that unites and assembles everything into one.
Abraham’s group was comprised of representatives of different communities who felt that his idea was right and thus joined him. This is how a nation that assembled on the basis of a common idea was born. This is the difference between the Jews and other nations.
Abraham’s descendents were Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph who were the next levels of development of this group, levels of increasingly greater connection. The group that left Babylon together with Abraham found itself facing great conflicts and disagreements, which is called the exile in Egypt. It should be noted that we speak about historical events in light of spiritual actions; therefore, we call geographic and historical categories according to their spiritual state.
It is said that there was famine in the land of Israel and the Jews went down to Egypt, which means that the nation felt a spiritual hunger resulting from the confusion and weakening of the connection between them. Thomas Mann describes the conflicts and ideological disagreements between the sons of Jacob very nicely in his book Joseph and His Brothers.
The state of Egypt (Mitzraim) symbolizes the concentration of evil in which the Jews felt the strong domination of the ego called Pharaoh (egoism) and tried to break away from it. They decided that they couldn’t remain in the state of mutual hostility, hatred, and the domination of Pharaoh because it didn’t allow them to be close to one another. Thus they realized and understood that they had fallen from the attainment of that little spiritual level they had been on previously. They realized that they had no choice but to escape from the state of Egypt. This happened at night, in the dark, hastily.
But before that, they went through the ten plagues of Egypt, which they felt on their flesh, and were thus freed of the domination of the ego, the domination of Pharaoh.
When they left Egypt, meaning mutual hostility, they gradually united and arrived at the state of Mount Sinai, which stems from the Hebrew word “Sina” (hate). They had to ascend above it in order to attain the Creator.
There is an attribute in the Israeli nation called Moses, stemming from the Hebrew word “Moshech” (draw or pull), which is the embodiment of the slight connection among them that takes them out of Egypt and can pull them above the hatred in order to connect with the Creator and receive the method of the formation of the nation from Him. This method is called the Torah.
The Torah is the Light that corrects the ego of the entire mass of people to create one unique desire that is above separation, hatred, and mutual accusations, and is actually yearning for establishing good relations above all that.
When the connection between people becomes homogeneous, straight, and equal and all the previous desires are integrated, creating one inclusive unique desire in which one person bestows unto others and loves them and everyone does that together mutually, this one desire turns to the upper state, to the Creator, which means to nature, with mutual love. The Creator (Elokim) symbolizes the upper force, the upper attribute, the upper leadership.
When they yearn for bestowal, to the upper force, to love Him and for mutual adhesion with Him, they attain that state. Now they are already called the “Israel,” and they begin to feel the next level of their existence by ascending from the levels of the still, vegetative, and animate nature to the level of the Creator, the level of the upper force of nature that is concealed from us.
They transcend the Machsom (barrier) of concealment, discover Him, and thus actually begin to feel and to live in Him to such an extent that the existence of the corporeal body becomes unimportant. It is because the body is a corporeal entity and a person doesn’t actually care whether it dies or not since on that level he already exists in a whole and eternal state.
Today anyone can reach this state, just as our forefathers had. They wrote about it in the Torah calling it the “First Temple.” In this state, the whole creation is revealed, the upper force, the limitless existence of humanity beyond time and place.
They lived in that state for several centuries, and then the ego began to undermine their state and began to draw them apart from one another again, controlling them by mutual accusations. They realized that it was necessary so that they could ascend even higher above the ego and reach the next level, but they didn’t succeed in overcoming it and fell into the state of unfounded hate.
This state is called the “exile in Babylon.” A thousand years later they returned to the same Babylon that Abraham had taken them out of, but now it wasn’t the same small country in Mesopotamia anymore but the giant empire of King Nebuchadnezzar who ruled 127 states. Being an intelligent leader, the king dispersed the Jews in all the states and thus kept them apart and disconnected, but it was even better at the time.
Many years went by before Babylon was ruled by King Ahasuerus and the wicked Haman who came up with the idea of annihilating the Jews. He began to denigrate them before the king: There is a certain people scattered and separate among the peoples throughout all the provinces of your kingdom, and their laws differ [those of] every people, and they do not keep the king’s laws; it is [therefore] of no use for the king to let them be. (Book of Esther).
A wise Jew named Mordecai, who was a relative of Queen Esther, the beloved wife of Ahasuerus, lived in Babylon in those days. He decided to prevent a conspiracy and make it known to the King. But Esther said that neither she nor the King could do anything since the Jews were separated. If you reunite I will tell the King about the conspiracy. You will begin to pray from above and I will begin to act from below and we will destroy wicked Haman and all those who conspire against us. What is more, it will be the beginning of our return to our homeland, to the land of Israel. (Book of Esther).
Mordecai told the Jews who lived in the city of Shushan, the capital of the Babylonian empire, about that. He called them to fast and to get closer and to be as one man in one heart according to the Jewish law that was accepted at the foot of Mount Sinai. Thus, by rising above the ego and fully connecting, they returned to their root and were rewarded with the return to the land of Israel, which means that they acquired attributes that were equal to that land. Ahasuerus freed them and allowed them to return to their land. Later Esther’s son and Ahasuerus helped them build the Second Temple and the exile in Babylon was over.
Several centuries later the Second Temple was destroyed because of the hatred that once again broke out among the Jews and once again they were exiled from the land of Israel. Today we are coming out of that exile, but every place and every state around the world has its own Haman and especially around the State of Israel.
But the rescue is exactly the same as it was during the time of Queen Esther: If we unite, we will easily get rid of all our enemies. They will free us of their evil presence and will help us just as they did in the past to restore and rebuild the Temple. It is also written in the book of the prophet Ezekiel, that the nations of the world will carry the Jews on their shoulders to their land and will build the Third Temple with them.
Having returned from the corporeal exile and living in the land of Israel, we are in a spiritual exile and have to come out of it, which means to ascend to the level of spiritual redemption from the ego that tears us to pieces, to connect in order to ascend to the level of eternity and wholeness. This is the call of Purim, the holiday of unity. We have all the necessary conditions in order to do it right here and now.
From a Talk about Purim, 2/18/15