A Long, Long Purim

Click here for Hebrew text.

The Yahrzeit of Rabbi Avraham of Sochatchov (1838-1910) is commemorated on the 25th of Adar. The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

His Story About the Drunk from Krakow

On Purim, the holy Rav, the Rav, Rabbi Avraham of Sochatchov z’tz’l would usually tell a tale he had heard from the “Krakover Pijak“, (the drunkard of Krakow), who drank liquor and would get himself drunk for two weeks before Purim and for two weeks after Purim.

For the Pijak would say:

“Truly, there is a question about Haman the wicked, for Haman had wanted to kill and destroy all the Jews, (God forbid)! And given that he wanted to kill them all, how could we fix the time for Purim to just one day?

“Just think about it! Perhaps, many of the Jews would have hidden themselves inside cisterns, shrubs and caverns! And Haman would not have been able to kill them all on one day, it would have taken much longer. At a minimum, it would have taken the entire month of Adar, just as the lot came up for Haman on the month of Adar.”

And the holy Rav, the Reb Avraham of Sochatchov z’l was impressed at this line of thinking. And he answered, (in the name of the aforementioned Pijak:

“In this, too, was Haman doing evil, for he thought:

‘Perhaps I won’t be able to kill them,’ (which is what in fact happened). ‘So then, Israel will make that [single] day a Yom Tov.

‘In this scenario, it would be better that they have a Yom Tov on only one day than their having an opportunity for rejoicing the whole month!'”

And the Pijak said:

“I know that the intention of Haman the wicked was to reduce our rejoicing, but truly the joy is the entire month!

“Therefore, behold!

Here I am, Hineni, drinking two weeks before Purim and two weeks after Purim“.

(From the Lips of  Tzaddikim)

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