Shushan Purim In Adar Rishon

Being as that this year is a Jewish leap year, it is correct to clarify the significance of Purim Koton.
The Jewish calendar is a basic aspect of Judaism. The first Rashi in Chumash already informs us that the Torah should really have begun from Shemot Perek 12 where the first mitzvah that the Jews receive is recorded. That Mitzvah is the one of Kiddush HaChodesh, of establishing months and years in the correct order. The Gemarra tells us that one of the main secrets that cannot be passed on to the non Jews is the Sod HaIbur- the secret of the leap year. Therefore any clarification in these areas is part of the basic understandings of what is unique about the Jewish calendar.
We find in the last Siman of the Shulchan Aruch (667) the discussion of the status of Purim in a leap year. It is decided by the Gemarra (Megilah 6a) that the difference between the first Adar and the second is that in the second Adar we read the Megilah and give Matanot LaEvyonim. (Why it does not just say “Purim” is beyond the present discussion.) The Shulchan Aruch paskens that you should have some Simcha on Purim in Adar Rishon. However, on Shushan Purim of Adar Rishon the Remah paskens that there is no reason for Simcha. The Mishnah Berurah (s”k 4) adds that this is even in cities that are walled from the time of Yehoshua, who keep Shushan Purim in Adar Bet. Why is this true? (The answer here is in the realm of Machshava and not Halacha.)
We find that the number twelve is very significant in Judaism. Obviously there are twelve month and twelve Shevatim. [There is an earlier reference to this. The Sefer Yetzirah refers to “twelve boundaries of the Alachson.” This is referring to the twelve lines where the six planes of a cube intersect.] There were also originally twelve middle Berachot in Shemoneh Esreh. (There are eighteen of which the first three are praise, the last three thanks, and the middle twelve are supplication.) What is the relationship between these ideas?
The twelve Berachot that were instituted in Shemoneh Esreh by the Anshei Knesset HeGedolah are meant to include all the needs that a person or the Klal could require. They are the Tzinorot which are meant to bring all the Heavenly Shefa to this world. In the same manner the Shevatim are the pathway by which the Berachot of the Avot are transferred to the Jews. The Avot are called in the Midrash (Bereishit Rabbah 47,6) the Merkavah. This is a realm way above us. We require the pathway of the Shevatim to bring the attributes of the Avot to our level. (In this way the first three Berachot of Shemoneh Esreh are related to the Avot, the middle twelve are parallel to the Shevatim. The last three are Moshe, Aaron, and Yosef.) Similarly each month has specific Shefa that is unique to it. We see a parallel to this in the physical world. Each month has a specific purpose in the cycle of the year. So, too, in the spiritual world each month is opportunity for different types of spiritual growth. (See the BeNei Yissaschar at the beginning of each month where he delineates the Midah of each month.) Furthermore, the Tur (Siman 417) says that the three main festivals represent the Avot, and the twelve Roshei Chodesh represent the Chagim of the Shevatim. Thus these three ideas represent the transfer of Beracha from Shamayim to earth.
What is fascinating is that all three of these split from twelve to thirteen. The Shevet of Yoseph becomes two so the original twelve Shevatim become thirteen. Adar splits into two, and instead of twelve months, there are thirteen. The Berachot in Shemoneh Esreh also become thirteen. The Gemarra (Berachot 28b) tells us that Rabban Gamliel added another Beracha- the Beracha against the Minim- those who reject the Torah. Thus the twelve middle Berachot of Shemoneh Esreh are now thirteen. This addition requires clarification.
In the addition of the thirteenth Beracha, it would seem that it is difficult to say that it was missing till now. If when the Anshei Knesset HaGedolah instituted the Berachot they included all the needs of the individual and the Klal, where was this before? It is hard to imagine that till now there was no need to overcome those who object to the Torah. I think that the answer lies in Purim itself.
On Purim we say that a person needs to be inebriated until he cannot tell the difference between the curse of Haman and the blessing of Mordechai (Megilah 7b). The Sfas Emes (Purim 5649) explains this based on a Midrash in Bereishit (Bereishit Rabbah 2,5). The Midrash says that Hashem was not sure if he desired the actions of the Tzadikim or the Reshaim. How can that be? The ultimate goal of the world is to reveal Hashem’s Malchus. A King’s greatness is divulged by either his beneficence to his friends or his overcoming his enemies. It was not clear which reveals Hashem’s Malchus more- Tzadikim or Reshaim. That is on Purim we are meant to be unsure as to which is the greater revelation of Malchus Shamayim- the curse of Haman or the blessing of Mordechai. The Beracha of the Minim is not just that we should be saved from the machinations of the Minim, but through their downfall Hashem’s Malchus should be even more manifest in the world. This is just the other side of the next Beracha which is the Beracha for Tzadikim. Thus the split of the Berachot is the split of the revelation of Malchus from the idea of it coming through the actions of the righteous (which is optimum) to the method of revealing Malchus through overcoming the Reshaim.
This idea is revealed on Purim which comes out in the month of Adar which itself can split.
The Kedushas Levi (Parshat Tetzaveh) explains that the month of Adar represents Yoseph. (This not like the Ari Z”L.) Just as Yoseph splits, so too does the month. The two Shevatim of Menashe and Ephraim represent the two aspects of Din and Chesed; Justice and Mercy. Menahse’s name is explained by Yoseph- “Since Hashem forgot me in the land of my anguish.” This is the Din which represents the seeming distance from Hashem. Ephraim is Chesed from the word Pru- to increase. These are the two ideas of revelation of Hashem through Din and Chesed- the punishment of Reshaim and the reward of Tzadikim. Thus the two months of Adar split these ideas.
In the beracha that Yakov gave to the sons of Yoseph, Menashe who is the Bechor is placed after Ephraim, the younger brother. Thus, we find that the greater of Yoseph’s descendants descend from Ephraim. Yehoshua, the one who stops the sun in Givon, is a progeny of Ephraim. Shushan Purim is defined as the Purim of the cities which Yehoshua conquered. This is not a coincidence, but this is a sign of the fact that Yehoshua is the first leader who overcomes Amalek. Thus, he begins the Purim domination of Amalek. Shushan Purim is the Yom Tov of Yehoshuah Bin Nun.
I think that it makes sense to say that the first Adar is the month corresponding to Menashe who came first. However, the second Adar is more important since that is when Purim takes place. This is then representative of the month of Ephraim who is greater than Menashe. If so, then Shushan Purim is a Yom Tov of Yehoshuah Bin Nun; as it is said that it is celebrated in cities that are remaining from his time. Therefore, it is inappropriate to celebrate an Ephraim Yom Tov during a Menashe month. Thus, only the regular Purim is celebrated in Adar Rishon, not Shushan Purim.
[As an additional idea-When Yoseph is told that he will receive an extra portion in Eretz Yisroel, the word that is used is Shechem. Among the meanings of that word is ‘shoulder’. The shoulder is where the body first visibly splits into right and left. Further, the Kohen Gadol carried on the Choshen twelve stones which represented the twelve original Shevatim. In addition he wore 2 more gem stones on his shoulders. Those two stones were the same stone that had the name of Yoseph on the Choshen. Thus Yoseph’s stone in the listing of the original twelve Shevatim, is split, and placed on the shoulders of the Kohen Gadol.]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s