The Cause or the Conduit?

March 4, 2017 at 7:08 PM ,

“…Therefore, they called these days Purim, named for the pur…” – Esther 9:26

עַל כֵּן קָרְאוּ לַיָּמִים הָאֵלֶּה פוּרִים עַל שֵׁם הַפּוּר – אסתר ט, כו

A central theme in the Purim miracle is the procedure and process through which Mordechai and Esther orchestrated the salvation of the Jewish people.

“Mordechai sat at the king’s gate” (2:19 et al), a reference to the prominent seat he held in the government, besides for having once saved the king from certain death. Esther was the king’s beloved wife, who had “won his favor and grace” (2:17). Yet, when faced with mortal threat, Mordechai’s primary response was to don sackcloth and ashes and arouse the Jewish people to do Teshuva, only then calling upon Esther to save the Jewish people through the natural means of diplomacy at her disposal. Esther did the same, calling for a three-day fast of Teshuva before she approached the king. Esther herself fasted as well despite the negative impacts this could obviously have on her presentability! The recurring theme here is that both Mordechai and Esther viewed the physical threat as the direct result of a spiritual deficiency. Once the cause of danger – the sins of the Jewish nation – would be undone through sincere repentance, the undoing of its physical effects would surely follow. Therefore, their emphasis was first and foremost on the spiritual means of saving the Jewish nation, and only then on the natural conduit through which it would come about.


The relevance of this message and the need to apply this attitude within our own lives is compounded by some unique facts about Purim:

A) The miracle commemorated took place when we were not in our homeland;

B) The holiday takes its name from the Persian word פור and not from the Hebrew word for lottery, גורל;

C) G-d’s name is not mentioned in the Megilah.

These points all emphasize that even as we are subject to the rule of non-Jewish governments and unJewish associations, in aspects of our life that seem to be mundane and secular, the natural dealings of a Jew are merely a conduit for the blessings from G-d earned through the observance of Torah and Mitzvos.






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