By: הרב רונן נויברט
The Kabala sages minted the famous Statement "Kippurim K´Purim" i.e. Yom Kippur resembles Purim. This statement is based on the Tikuney Zohar 57:"Purim is named after Yom Ha-Kippurim that will become a day
The Kabala sages minted the famous Statement "Kippurim K'Purim" i.e. Yom Kippur resembles Purim. This statement is based on the Tikuney Zohar 57:"Purim is named after Yom Ha-Kippurim that will become a day of rejoicing in the days to come". Does this make any sense? How can we even begin to compare the high level of holiness we experience on Yom Kippur, during Neilah, while crying "Shema Yisrael"- "Hashem is the Lord", to the fun moments of Purim, which is not even sanctified by a work prohibition?
As we mentioned last week, the secret of Purim is the synthesis of the secular and the sacred that we experience clearly on that very day. On Purim we deal mostly with the mundane matters: eating, drinking, rejoicing. Nevertheless, we find that those "secular" actions help us to reveal Hashem: "The reason why labor is permitted in Purim is that there is no contradiction on this day between the material world and the spiritual world. On Yom Tov, however, where the goal is to be satisfied by the divine influence, it is difficult and contradictory to deal with mundane matters, which is not so in Purim that the curse twisted into blessing, even by doing everyday things we reveal sacredness" (Rav Kook, Olat Reiyah 440). Even though labor is permitted on Purim, this festival is on a high level, which enables us to experience the harmony of the sacred and the mundane. On Yom Kippur we reveal the sacredness by detaching ourselves from the mundane matters while in Purim we can achieve the same level by merging them.
Even more so, only one person, the Kohen Gadol, had the privilege to enter the קודש קודשים (Holy of Holies) once a year, on Yom Kippur. The terms קודש (holy) and חול (secular) are quite obvious. It is very simple to distinguish between קודש and חול. Yet, what is the declaration of קודש הקודשים? Rav Kook had a tremendous insight in Orot Ha'Kodesh, as follows:" There is the world of the secular, and the world of the holy. These worlds contradict each other. Obviously, the contradiction between them is relative: For Man, in his limited comprehension, it is difficult, if not impossible, to harmonize secularity and holiness, or to neutralize their contradictions. They are, however, reconciled in the higher world, in the place of the holy of holies." The holy of holies is the place of harmony where no contradiction exists. The כהן גדול for instance, was not only a holy spiritual figure but also a material person. According to Chazal, this Kohen was at a higher level than his brothers in good looks, wealth and strength (Yoma 18a). He was the only one who truly accomplished the level of קודש קודשים and therefore, the only one who was entitled to enter this holy place.
On Purim we all can be like the כהן גדול. We can all experience theקודש הקודשים, by utterly integrating heaven and earth. This is, in fact, implied in the Megilah. Chazal taught us that every time that "המלך" (the king) in mentioned in the Megilah, it refers to Hashem. There is one place mentioned in the Megilah that is similar to the "קודש הקודשים". This place is - "חצר המלך הפנימית" (the inner court of the king - Hashem). Just as in "קודש הקודשים" whoever is not eligible to enter is sentenced to death, so too "whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come to the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law for him, that he be put to death" (Esther 4). Nonetheless, on the third day (just as at the Akeida and at Mount Sinai) Esther enters קודש הקודשים: "On the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house; and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house..."(Ibid. 5). This is why Purim is superior to Yom Kippur. On this very day we are all entitled to enter the holy of holies and experience the same קדושה of Yom Kippur without any affliction but rather with delight. In that sense, "The entire year is just a preparation for Purim" (Rav Charlap, Mey Marom)