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Tuesday
Feb132018

HOW THE MEGILLA IS READ IN A VILLAGE, CITY, OR WALLED CITY

Translated by Boruch Merkur 

The Megilla may be read on one of several days  (“the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, or 15thof Adar ––Megilla 2a) depending upon ones place of residence, be it a walled city (15th), an unwalled large city (14th), or a village (11th, 12th, or 13th). The following is a discussion of the spiritual significance of these three categories, as well as how they apply in avodas Hashem, the service of G-d.

The avoda associate with a walled city is to provide protection from the enemy, defense against hostile forces.

A (regular, unwalled) city signifies a Divine service that pertains to enhancing civilization, building an abode for G-d to reside within. City-dwellers are not involved with the agricultural efforts of plowing (see Likkutei Torah Massei 96d, Haazinu 75d) and planting, nor must they wait for crops to sprout in the field. Rather, a city-dweller is concerned with building, utilizing materials that are already present in the world and preparing them to serve their function. In this manner he contributes to the construction of a dwelling place and a city – “ir Elokeinuthe city of our L-rd.”

Inhabitants of a village, on the other hand, are devoted to the work of plowing the hard earth, breaking up the ground of the world, which conceals G-dliness, in order that it can bring forth produce.

In the lexicon of Chassidus, the three categories correspond to the spiritual worlds as follows. A walled city alludes to Bria, the domain of the service of the angels called Srafim. A large, unwalled city corresponds to Yetzira. In terms of avoda, it is at the level of Chayos HaKodesh. And a village is Asiya, the avoda of the Ofanim.

The difference between these three levels as they relate to aspects of the soul and their corresponding Divine service:

The avoda of a citizen of a walled city derives from the mindcontemplation and intellectual comprehension of G-dliness. There is pleasure in this mode of service, as it stems from ones understanding of G-dliness. Likewise, the Srafim, whose intellectual appreciation of G-dliness causes them to burn (“nisrafim”), to be consumed in the delight of G-d and to become nullified, transcending their own identity, through their yearning and pining for G-dliness.

The avoda of the resident of large cities stems from middosthe love and fear of G-d. This avoda relates to the world of Yetzira, where the Alm-ghtys middos (emotional attributes) shine. As a result of the great passion of their middos, the avoda of the Chayos HaKodesh is tumultuous and impassioned (“braash gadol”).

The service of villagers, Ofanim, in the world of Asiya, is at the basic level of submission. At this level, the brains comprehension and the emotions evoked in the heart are solely in accordance with the quality that needs to be brought to submission. The fact that their avoda is alsobraash gadolis not because it is an expression of the feelings of the heart. It is analogous, rather, to the overwhelmed response of the simple villager who comes to see the king (Chagiga 12b).

In the avoda of the villagers, the avoda of Asiya, G-dliness is not overtly apparent (in the grasp of the intellect or the passions of the heart). Thus, their service and accomplishment is just in a manner of submission. Nevertheless, their avoda is an expression of bittul to G-dliness. In fact, bittul that is merely an expression of submission, as it exists in the Ofanim, is in a certain respect deeper than the avoda of the Srafim, which stems from the understanding and intellectual comprehension of G-dliness. Thus, it is specifically the Ofanim who sayBaruch kvod Hashem mimkomo blessed is the glory of G-d from His place,” for they are the ones who bring about the hamshacha ofkvod Hashem mimkomomore than is accomplished through the avoda of the Srafim.

(Likkutei Sichos Vol. 21, pg. 202; BShaarei HaMegilla pg. 56 – 58) 

 

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