Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chasam Sofer on the relationship between 7 Adar and Purim

Chasam Sofer (Derashos, 5699) writes that 7 Adar should be one of the happiest days of the year.  It was on this day that Moshe presented a completed a sefer Torah to sheivet Levi and the rest of Klal Yisrael came to him to complain: Why should Levi be privileged with a sefer Torah – is Torah not ours as well?  “Lo nasan Hashem lachem lev lada’as v’eynayim liros v’oznayim lishmo’a ad hayom ha’zeh” (Devarim 29:3) – this expression of love for Torah showed that Klal Yisrael finally had achieved the greatness that Moshe had been trying to inculcate in them for 40 years (see Rashi ibid.)  Moshe later says on this day of 7 Adar, “I am 120 years old today.” (Devarim 31:2)  Moshe is not telling us that it's his birthday so we know when to bake a cake and send presents.  Rashi comments, “Today my days and years have become complete,” meaning, explains the Chasam Sofer, that Moshe was saying that on this day his life's goal had finally come to fruition.  Mission accomplished!  7 Adar should have been consecrated for all future generation as a day of simchas Torah and kabbalas haTorah.

The only problem is that you can’t live on in this world once your mission is completed.  7 Adar therefore also had to be the day of Moshe’s passing.

What do you do when a chasunah and r”l a funeral coincide?  The gemara in Kesubos 4 (see the sugya for details) tells us that the aveilus takes precedence and only after the week of shiva is over is sheva brachos observed.  Klal Yisrael sat shiva for Moshe Rabeinu and the outpouring of love for Torah of 7 Adar had to take a back burner for a week -- until 14 Adar.  The keviyus of that day as a special holiday of kabbalas haTorah did indeed take place, albeit generations later.  “Hadar kiblu’hu b’ymei Achashveirosh” – in the time of Mordechai and Esther the Torah was re-accepted and the simcha of that original kabbalah of Torah that was the culmination of Moshe's life finally had its Yom Yov.  

On a different note: a post on megillah from my wife.


  1. Love this Vort.
    Thank you.

  2. Anonymous11:56 PM

    >>> Why should Levi be privileged with a sefer Torah - is Torah not ours
    as well?

    (said a righteous rogue clearly dizzy with drink*,)
    'from this we see how the Yisraelim -- wishing to be Levites -- are no
    better than the Levite Korach was when wishing to be Priest**!

    but that is not all, O gallery, no, that is not all:
    having heard from Korach, Moshe fell on his face***;
    having heard from the Klal, he died...'

    * dizzy too from having wildly imagined that pasuk 29:3 would
    precede pasuk 31:9!
    ** Bamidbar 16:10
    *** Bamidbar 16:4