With Pesach rushing ahead at full speed to greet us, one would think that Purim has receded into the background, a speck in the rear-view mirror. Yet all the hamentaschen and bags of received shalach manos foods make forgetting difficult.
This is good, because, Purim should not be forgotten at all.
In fact, Chazal (the Rabbis of the Talmud) did everything they could to make sure that Purim would still be on the brain while planning for Pesach. This year’s calendar demonstrates this. Even with our extra “leap” month named Adar, THE Purim month, and even though the Megilla calls Adar “Month twelve”, the rabbis insisted that Purim be celebrated in Adar Sheini, the second Adar and the thirteenth month of the year, counting from Nissan.
Because they wanted to produce an effect called “Semichas Geula L’Geula”, make one redemption adjacent to the other redemption. I can add a lot of bracketed words to have that make more sense. Like this: “Make [the celebration of] one redemption be adjacent to [the celebration of the] other redemption.” Either way, the concept is rather deep when expanded, though it loses the poetic effect.
Here is how it works:
Pesach and Purim are polar opposites. Pesach is a celebration of God taking total control of the redemption of the Jewish people, with said Jews being as passive as humanly possible. The Matza rule is a testament to this Jewish passivity! (They didn’t have time to let the dough rise!) At the Red Sea, Moshe tells the Jews, “Hashem Yelacheim Lachem, V’Atem Tacharishun”. God will wage war on your behalf, and you should be quiet [as He does so]!
Purim, by explicit contrast, is the celebration of Jews taking total control of their redemption, with God being as absent from the events as Divinely possible. Mordechai tells Esther ” Im Hacharish Tacharishi B’Eis Hazos… At u’beis Avich Toveidun” “If you are SILENT at this time, you and your family will be lost!”
Two entirely different theology lessons here.
Yet one God orchestrating them both.
We need to know this.
One God bridges the Gap between Purim and Pesach.
And Chazal tell us this by making the gap as short as possible.
Enjoy your remaining Chometz Hamentaschen.