Thoughts from Kollel KLAL


The Mishnah teaches that Nicanor had miracles happen with his doors, and they mentioned him for a great praise, and it was said about him zeicher tzaddik l’vracha. The Braisa teaches that Nicanor went to Alexandria of Mitzrayim in order to make two copper doors, and he fixed them up very well. He intended on standing them up in the Azarah to be used for the eastern gateway, which was called, “The Shaar Nicanor.” Nicanor needed to transport these two doors from the land of Alexandria in Mitzrayim, all the way to the Bais HaMikdash. So, he set out by boat, and during his journey, a fierce wind blew and strong a wave stood up over him to drown him. Tosfos Yeshanim points out that the unusual weather did not occur because of the sin of “do not to return to Mitzrayim anymore.” The Sifrei says that it is only assur to return to Mitzrayim to dwell there, but it is permitted to go there for business or to conquer the land.

The boatmen took one of the doors and they threw it into the water to lighten the weight on the boat. The sea did not rest from its rage. They requested to throw the other door into the water. Nicanor stood up and hugged it, and said to them, “If you want to throw this door into the sea, throw me in with it.” Immediately, the sea stopped from its rage, and it quieted down. Nicanor was in agony, and the Yerushalmi brings that Nicanor cried and mourned. Hashem performed a miracle that when they reached the port the door floated up and came out.

Simply, Nicanor’s agony hinted that he was disturbed and in pain that the other door was thrown into the sea and was lost. Ben Yehoyada points out that Nicanor seems to only have been upset now that the second door was saved. He is bothered by this. Why wasn’t Nicanor upset immediately after he threw in the first door? Ben Yehoyada answers that Nicanor was certainly disturbed and upset when the first door was thrown into the sea, however he had some consolement as there was a second door still remaining. There was nothing else that he could have done to save the first door, because of the stormy weather, the sailors took the door against Nicanor’s will, and threw it into the sea. However, after he saw that by wrapping himself on the second door and saying, “throw me in,” the sea stopped from its rage, and the door was saved, he now felt a new feeling of regret, with great pain. Nicanor said, “Why didn’t I do the same thing in the beginning for the first door? Had I done this for the first door, it, too, would have been saved!” Also, the Korban HaEida explains that Nicanor had regret that he wasn’t moser nefesh for the first door just as he was moser nefesh for the second door, because then, it too, would have been saved.

On Purim, we drink wine, nichnas yayen yatza sod, wine enters in the body, and out come the secrets.” People drink wine and often feel differently than the rest of the year. For this reason, on Purim, it is common for people to have deep desires for growth and achievement, and to have regret about the level that they have reached. Why couldn’t I do better and reach greater heights? In Megilas Esther it states, “קימו וקבלו היהודים עליהם ועל זרעם, the Yehudim confirmed and accepted upon themselves, and upon their offspring.” The Gemara explains that this teaches that we reaccepted the Torah. Originally, Klal Yisrael accepted the Torah out of force, and now they reaccepted the Torah out of love, which Rashi specifies, for the miracle which Hashem performed for them.

Let us reaccept the Torah and be moser nefesh to fulfill the will of Hashem out of ahava!

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