Listen to Rabbi Tzvi Goode: Finding Your Self in The Miracle of Purim (Audio)

By BJLife/Rabbi Tzvi Goode, Menahel, Yesodei HaTorah of Baltimore

Posted on 03/17/19

Parshas HaShavua Divrei Torah sponsored by
Dr. Shapsy Tajerstein, DPM - Podiatry Care.
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חזיל ask, “Where is אסתר hinted to in the תורה? The answer is to be found in פרשת וילך in the posuk, הסתר אסתיר פני, on that day השם will hide his face.

The מהרל explains that the repetition in the posuk, הסתר אסתיר indicates that on that day there will be hiddenness within hiddenness. In the days of פורים the first layer of Hashem’s hiddenness was that the Jewish people were now in a post חורבן בית המקדש world, an environment steeped in spiritual darkness which was compounded further by an even more profound layer of hiddenness, the genocidal decree of המן; ostensibly the annihilation of the Jewish People.

But aside the depth of Hashem’s hiddenness, the מהרל explains that the הסתר in the posuk has a completely different connotation as well. הסתר depicts the essence of miracle of פורים itself. The נס originated from a very hidden place; buried deep within Hashem’s inner chamber. What this means is that Hashem hid Himself inside the נס instead of revealing Himself as He did in the נסים of יציאת מצרים or חנוכה.

What does it mean that Hashem Himself hid inside the the נס? Simply that The Divine Hand was enmeshed in the טבע, transforming what appeared to be natural into the supernatural.

At the time did anyone other than מרדכי take note that אסתר, a 75 year old woman, was chosen over the multitudes of beautiful young girls by אחשורש to  replace ושתי?

Or that the murder plot discussed by בגתן ותרש in a practically unknown language would be overheard and reported to the King by מרדכי who understood 70 languages by virtue of being part of the סנהדרין, and that by saving the King’s life מרדכי would be lifted in the eyes of אחשורש, setting the stage for the salvation?

Or that when המן advised אחשורש how to repay המן ,מרדכי mistakenly thought that it was המן himself whom the King wished to honor. So המן suggested that אחשורש bestow honors fit for a King causing אחשורש to be suspect that המן wanted to usurp the throne for himself thus laying the foundation for the ultimate demise of המן, and the salvation of the Jewish People?

An ordinary Jew of the time probably thought that he knew exactly what was going on, and yet it was all very deceptive. Nothing seemed to be spectacular and right there before his very eyes the נס was unfolding.

9 years of what seemed to be life as usual and then one day he wakes up to find out that every natural occurrence was being manipulated by Divine Decree. This is the הסתר פנים of Hashem in the נס itself.

While we read the מגילה year after year and know the story by heart, perhaps adding insight by learning חז׳ל and different מפרשים, many of us still seek a way for the the מעשה פורים to impact us in a more profound and lasting way.

Although we may not have made the connection ourselves, we sense that  מגילה is לשון מגלה, that השם is revealing Himself and his השגחה to us in the פסוקים. How can we can we help this awareness to penetrate us more deeply?

Perhaps, in advance to listening to the מגילה on פורים we need to contemplate and meditate upon the השגחה in our own lives to be able to extrapolate that experience and thereby better understand השגחה in the מגילה. After all, each of our lives is a מגילה as well. The ups and the downs, the accomplishments and the failures, the pleasures and the pain.

What about the time that you were knocked out of the job you that you could have sworn was sure just right, only to get a much better opportunity afterwards? Or what about when your daughter was rejected from the seminary she was certain was just for her, only to find her shidduch through a teacher in the other seminary she wouldn’t consider attending?  Or maybe there was an illness that pushed you to lifestyle changes that transformed your quality of life?

We don’t need to label that השגחה as good or bad. After all who are we to judge? What is critical is to sense the יד השם in every part of our lives. To feel the concern, the involvement, the guidance and most importantly the love.

A little reflecting upon our own השגחה in these few days before פורים could provide for us multiple benefits. First of all, that reflection will help us to better relate to and appreciate the השגחה that fills the מגילה, magnifying our שמחה throughout the day of פורים. Secondly, this reflection will give us a better sense of Hashem’s involvement in our life and his boundless love for us. And finally, this reflection may become a doorway into a better understanding and connection to ourselves. After all, the השגחה in our lives is part and parcel of who we really are, and the תפקיד of each of our נשמות in this world.

Just as the יד השם was well hidden in the daily lives of the Jewish People for 9 years, it is no less well hidden in the השגחה of our daily lives as well. פורים is the day we read the מגילה and as such it is the day designated to be מגלה the נסתר, to reveal the hidden- on a macro level for the entire Jewish People and on a micro level for ourselves.

If we can allow these thoughts pertaining to our personal השגחה to marinate within us between now and then, when we sit down to the סעודה, and devote ourselves to the מצוה עד דלא ידע, we may be in for a special treat. In that altered state of consciousness the השגחה that we recognize in the מגילה combined with the השגחה we comprehend in our own lives may give us a deeper sense of our personal experience of the יד השם and who we really are.  

Let’s seize the moment with anticipation and enthusiasm and allow פורים to become a truly transformative experience.

A פרייליכע פורים!