Oil and Water Don't Mix

Parshat Tetzaveh (Shmot 27:20) starts off with the words "You shall command B.nei Yisrael and have them bring you .shemen zayit zach., pure olive oil made from olives that were crushed for lighting, to keep the lamp (ner tamid) burning constantly."

HaRav Yosef Potznovsky points out that the book of Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) 11:16 compares the Jewish people to an olive tree- "God called your name .zayit ra.anan., a green olive tree fair with goodly fruit".

Why did Yirmiyahu compare the Jewish people with the olive tree?

According to Midrash Raba, Tetzaveh 36, in the same way that oil does not mix with other liquids but rather remains on top, the Jewish people do not mix with the other nations.

Yalkut Shimoni (Mishlei 9) teaches that in the future (in the final redemption) all of the holidays will be annulled except for Purim.

HaRav Potznovsky explains the reason why Purim will endure forever. In the story of Purim we saw the essence and strength of the Jewish people. After Haman declared that he wanted to annihilate the Jewish people, the Jews stood their ground and did not try to convert in order to avoid Haman.s decree. On the other hand, at the end of the Purim story, we read (Ester 8:17) "And in every province and in every city wherever the kings commandments and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness a feast and a holiday. Many of the people of the land became Jews because the fear of the Jews fell upon them". When the Jews were able to stand up for themselves and fight their enemies, many of the gentiles took it upon themselves to convert to Judaism. In one day, they left their gods and joined the Jewish people.

The holiday of Purim will remain in order to teach us that no matter what, the Jewish people will always remain separate in the same way that olive oil will not mix with water.

How wonderful is it in Israel where every Jewish child celebrates the holiday of Purim! How wonderful is it to go into Toys .R Us in Adar, not in October and find the store bursting at the seams with all of the latest costumes! How wonderful is it to be able to buy any Kosher wine or grape juice that you could possibly want in your local supermarket!