The Torah (VaYikra 23:27) states “Ach Be’Esor LaChodesh HaShvi’i HaZeh Yom HaKiPurim Hu LaChem” “On the tenth day of the seventh month, a day of atonement it shall be for you.” This Pasuk obviously refers to Yom Kippur, but why does the Pasuk refer to it as Yom HaKiPurim, which literally translates as “a day like Purim.” How could Yom Kippur, a day of fasting and awe, be comparable to Purim, which is full of happiness and rejoicing?. On a basic level this may be true, but in actually they are opposites, but on a deeper level they are actually very similar. They are both days of second chances. Yom Kippur is a day on which we atone for our sins (asking Hashem to grant us another chance). Yom Kippur is also the day on which Moshe brought the second set of Luchot down from Har Sinai, which was a second chance for Bnei Yisrael after the Cheit HaEigel. Likewise, Purim was a day on which we began the process of returning to Eretz Yisrael and the process of building the second Bais Hamikdash, the process of a second chance to serve Hashem while his Shechinah rested upon Bnei Yisrael.
We can learn a great lesson from contrasting these two days of second chances. What one does with a second chance is dependent on his or her choices. On Yom Kippur it’s very easy to focus on penance; The entire day is filled with Tefilah and fasting in order to repent before the new year. Conversely, Purim is abounding with many factors that could interfere with one’s Teshuvah, but if someone is able to focus on the Mitzvot, they will be able to further the repentance achieved on Yom Kippur even in the middle of the year. It is taught, that in Megilat Esther, when it states “HaMelech,” without specifically referring to Achashverosh, it refers to Hashem. So when the pasuk in Ester states “VaYasar HaMelech Et Taabato …VaYetna LeMordechi”, it can be understood as meaning, Hashem took his ring and gave it to Mordechai. On Rosh Hashana Hashem records our deeds in His book, and on Yom Kippur he seals it; but Hashem puts His ring in our hands, and it is in our hands to decide what to do with it. May we be Zocheh to make the right choices and be given another chance with the third Beit HaMikdash, speedily and in our days.