POST #1: A Freilechin Purim!
I mentioned the other day that I wished all those at the Kahn Brit, a Happy Purim, even though it is Elul. Herein, the reasoning:
In the Birkat HaMazon after the Brit, there are a series of special "Haracham" statements that are made. In one, we daven that news of the Mashiach should come to the "Am mefuzat U'meforad bein Ha'amim." (The people that is spread out among nations or other people.) This phrase is lifted right from Megillat Esther, and I asked why refer to the Jewish people with this phrase and in particular at a brit Milah?
The words were stated by Haman HaRasha to Achashverosh. He was telling the king that this widespread people were indeed a threat to the crown and needed to be annihilated. However, without realizing it, he was indicating what one of the downfalls of the Jews really is: We tend to be fractious and split among our own people. We do not get along...we make ourselves insulated and are therefore more apt to be attacked. We just donot get along well...
To this, Esther says: "Lech, K'nos et Kol Ha'Yehudim..." Go, and GATHER all the Jews together...it would be in the Zechut (merit) of the Jews coming together that Hashem would indeed save the day.
I said at the Brit that we came together for the Simcha at which we were to hear a call for Mashiach to arrive. We mention the Jewish people as the "fractious" people as recognized by Haman...but that our gathering TOGETHER, Jews of all backgrounds, we help to provide the antidote so desperately needed for the Mashiach...that we get together and we get along!
It is THAT idea that propelled me to wish everyone a Freilichen Purim...just as the Jews gathered in Shushan and led to the antidote for our Geulah, so, too, we gathered at the simcha in a fashion that would change us form an "Am Mefuzar" to unified people ready to greet the Mashiach.
Thanks to all who asked me what I meant in my comments!
2. The New Job:
What a difference 28 years makes! My very first job after I got married is one that I stayed at for almost 17 years. I was in the business world and was working among non-Jews for the very first time as a married man. My first day then was filled with the usual first day jitters and anxiety, but it was doubly anxiety-filled as I had to decide a few issues as many do in such circumstances: would I wear my Kippah (I did, all 17 years); davening Mincha when it was dark before I left the office; washing for HaMotzi and benching and the list goes on. All this meant: How was I going to continue to practice MY Dati/religious lifestyle in an environment that was not geared for this lifestyle.
That was then...this is now! Twenty-eight years later, I found myself once again in a "first day on the job" situation. But, this time is was different: I came in wearing my tzitzit out; I was able to wash before eating lunch and bench at my desk without anyone thinking twice about what I was doing; people wopuld walk into the office and kiss the Mezuzah on the doorpost; and the morning was punctuated by phrases such as "Baruch Hashem"and "B'ezrat Hashem."
No, not everyone in the office is Dati, but it was a VERY different experience than it was when I was all of 22 years old! As to first day "jitters"? That, too, seems to have not been the same as when I first entered the workforce. Yes, so much is different than in 1981 for me. The one thing I hope will be the same, though, is that I will be with this company for 17 years...That will only happen with referrals from people like you reading this blog. May Hashem give me the koach/strength to do the best I can and bring people to His home and show them around. Who knows, maybe these visitors will like the place and decide to even move here!