WHY WE WOE
In the days of Achashverosh, everyone wailed: Vay- hi! Woe to us! (Megillah 11a; Esther Rabbah Introduction:11).
We all have days which are good, when our Jewishness goes well and we know God is helping us along the way.
And we all have days which we think are bad, when we feel as if God is rejecting us, that the difficulties we experience are His way of blocking our way. As if our efforts toward Jewishness have no meaning to Him (Likutey Moharan I, 33:1-3).
But this bad is really good.
It's God's way of refining our intentions, of rousing our desire to follow His way. Because we need a burning resolution to get through the challenges He puts in our way (Likutey Moharan I, 66:4).
And sometimes temptation is the bad. We feel as if God is
pushing us away. As if He's telling us: Go be a gentile! You'll never be a good Jew anyway! (Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom
God forbid! that's not His intention. He'd never push any Jew out of the way. It's just that sometimes our souls are so sullied, that justice requires He put those thoughts in our way (Likutey Moharan I, 115).
But in the days of Achashverosh, before we had learned this lesson, we thought that God really didn't want us. So we attended the orgy, not withstanding temptation. God saw we weren't yet ready for Him to give us a really good day, so He sent us Haman to give us a really bad day.
And Haman's Decree of Extermination was bad but only if we see it that way. Because rather than lose heart, we sought God, since Mordekhai the Tzaddik rose to show us the way.
So it all depends on our perspective do we see cause to take courage or to despair? And if we despair, the first three letters of the Tetragrammaton are inverted, from to which reads: Hoy! (Zohar III, 74b; Likutey Moharan II, 82).
And that is why we woe. God! God! Show us the way to the Tzaddik who will give us the proper perspectives. Grant us the courage to seek You despite those thoughts You put in our way!
He was the ACH-ash-ve-ROSH the brother of the grandiose one (Megillah 11a). He was the Achashverosh who reigned from Hodu (India) to Kush (Ethiopia) over the entire world .
But we still don't see it.The ultimate insanity! But we have yet to look.
In fact, we consider it normal the way things are. The idea the delusion that one of us is better than the other, or the very idea that we can be compared. Can we say that an adult is better than a child, or that one person's God-given talents should be compared to another's? It's like comparing two colors or two fruits is blue better than beige, are plums better than pears?
But in our distance from God, in our feeling apart from Him, we feel an inner vacuum, a loss of true self. So the inner question Who am I? is answered: I'm better than he is or I'm not like that. And we never stop to wonder how out of touch we are if we think and espouse insanity like that.
Now, Haman was a nothing, a real nobody. He had been a village barber and a bathhouse attendant (Megillah 16a). But, over- inflated by ACH-ash-ve-ROSH to grandiose proportions, he tried to allay his feelings of no-self.
The Haman of the soul comes from the Vacuum the realm
of existence vacated by God. So whenever we enter the Vacuum, we feel like nothing and feel compelled to compensate by aggrandizing our selves. And sometimes we fill the inner Vacuum with vicarious pride by bowing to Haman, by idolizing the misperceived betterness of someone else's self (Likutey Halakhot, Tefillin 6:23).
So ACH-ash-ve-ROSH's airs are all-permeating. He reigns not only from India to Ethiopia, but from Hodu, the majestic, to Kush, the lowly. Because when we live in Hodu we are externally better by virtue of our talents or possessions. And when we live in Kush we are externally lesser by virtue of our lack of talent or possessions. Yet, wherever we live, we are unequalled by virtue of simply being our very own selves. And to see one another as better or lesser is insanity and a negation of our own selves (Likutey
Halakhot, Orlah 5:16).
But to let go of this madness and leave the Vacuum, we need a Mordekhai the Tzaddik to show us the way. Because Mordekhai the Tzaddik personified greatness, not an external greatness, but a greatness which stemmed from a humble self. Since he knew the secret of true humility, he was not compelled to aggrandize himself (Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom #140). And he shows us how to let God in, leave the Vacuum and find our true selves.
Then we have no need to compare ourselves with others. We are even humbled before our own selves (Likutey Moharan I, 14:5; ibid. 79). Because we then know that our self is not ours to compare with another's it is our essence, our Eternal Spark, our Godly self (ibid. 22:5; see Crossing The Narrow Bridge, 17).
So on Purim we exchange courses of food with one another to show that we are all equal. To those who have nothing we also give, so that they too should know they are equal.