The Secret of One and Many: Raza de-Purim

The Jews confirmed and accepted – kimu v’kiblu – we accepted, written singular, pronounced plural. Fulfilled and accepted – they fulfilled (on Purim) that which they had already accepted back then (at Sinai) —Talmud, Shabbat 88a

Esther 9:27, kimu v’kiblu, written singular, pronounced plural. See Exodus 19:17. Now, here, said Rava, we re-accepted it [Torah], we confirmed what we had taken on so long ago. Then, we had no choice. Here, G*d’s face is entirely hidden, as it were. This choice is fully free. Thus we read megillat Esther, the revealing of the secret.

Zohar: Yom Kippurim is a Yom K’Purim, a day like Purim. How so? On Purim, the miracle is wholly of this world, it is garbed in nature. Purim is a day we are most physical, most transcendent. Yom Kippur has a taste of that, but through negation of the physical. It attempts to rise to the ascendance of Purim, which is all ascendant through the entirely physical.

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Confirmed and accepted,
Esther 9:27

A day like Purim
is Yom Kippur
all our prayers are given in we
the communal kapparah*

On Purim
we removed the obstacles
became masters of the masks
the surfaces released
and G*d appeared everywhere
the unexpressed everything

We are one with each other
this is our joy.

Because of what happened to us
we confirmed and accepted
kimu v’kiblu
singular and plural

That’s why Yom Kippur is a day like Purim

On Yom Kippur we diminished it
on Purim
we increased our joy
by becoming one
with each other

we will become one
with ourselves



What is this secret of one and many? It turns on the irony: we think Pesakh is the communal freedom; here, Purim is the communal freedom, many speaking in one voice the free will acceptance. Now we are ready for the deeper unity: within ourselves. That will become the matter of Pesakh.

But what to make of the singular and plural if not the desire for unity, if not the experience?

It is our willingness to offer up our separation from each other on the way to the great integration at Pesakh when we become truly one, by offering up our distance, our alienation, our separation.

If I had come into the world only to hear these words, it would have been enough, said the Stavisker.

How holy is this story. . . said Blue, G*d’s name not mentioned once, the sure sign that it is G*d all over. We are at the level of events and personalities themselves indicating the presence of God.

When all the other festivals will be abolished (in messianic times) Purim will remain. —Midrash Mishlei 9:2 

Something serious here too: the gematria for both arur (cursed) Haman and barukh (blessed) Mordechai are the same (502). At some level good and evil are both sourced in the Holy One, "who created light and darkness, made peace and created evil" (Is. 45:7).

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