Lessons in Torah Or - Chayav Inish (Purim)
Classic Chassidic Discourse by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi
PURIM – CHAYAV INISH
A Purim maamar is almost a contradiction in terms. A maamar is a chassidic discourse, a systematic elaboration of mystic concepts as they are enclothed in a logical framework. Purim, by contrast, stands above all logic and reason, as the teaching that begins this maamar states: “On Purim, a man is obligated to become so intoxicated that he does not know the difference between ‘Cursed be Haman’ and ‘Blessed be Mordechai.’” On a day associated with “not-knowing,” where is there room for developed thought?
The resolution to this question depends on the awareness that the not-knowing called for on Purim is not a drunken stupor, but a bond with G‑d as He transcends knowledge. Wisdom and knowledge are defined entities and G‑d transcends all definition: “No thought can grasp Him.”
How then can man connect to Him? By dedicating himself to G‑d beyond the limits of knowledge. We each possess a soul that is “an actual part of G‑d,” unlimited and unbounded as is He. Purim is a time when this essential dimension of the soul surfaces and bonds with G‑d — essence cleaving to Essence — above the garments of logic and thought.