Purim: We Love Torah! – Rabbi Binyamin Wolff
Anyone who is forced to do a task can always excuse their poor performance on the fact that they weren’t really given a choice. That is how the Gemara (Shabbos 88a) rationalizes our shortcomings in performance of mitzvos – after all we were coerced into it. That was the state of affairs from Sinai for about a thousand years. However, that all changed when the Jewish people re-accepted the Torah out of love following the Purim miracle. Wait! Did I miss something? Where do we find a mass re-acceptance of the Torah out of love in the Purim story?
The Maharal of Prague (1520-1609) explains: What did Am Yisrael, under the leadership of the Sanhedrin, do to recognize Hashem’s salvation? We made more mitzvos! We wrote more Torah! People who feel that Torah and mitzvos are forced upon them would never want more of it. We have enough already. By wanting more we showed that the entire Torah that we received at Sinai was something that was appreciated and beloved to us, not a begrudged burden. The enactment of Purim itself showed our paradigm shift towards Kabbalas HaTorah out of pure love.
Let us all try find that want for “more” Torah and mitzvos. It will help us appreciate Hashem’s love for us in giving us the Torah and His always doing “more” for the Jewish people.