MidrESHET Hayil

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Megillat Ester-Nigleh Hester (The Hidden is Revealed)

Purim 5772

Megillat Ester- Nigleh Hester (The Hidden is Revealed)

Be’Ezrat HaShem, in the days of Mashiah (hopefully very soon!) Purim will be the only holiday that we will celebrate out of all the hagim that we currently celebrate. From all the hagim, Purim seems to be the least serious one. Why would we ever designate it to be THE holiday that we will carry over to celebrate in the days of Mashiah? Pesah and Succot would seem more appropriate….

If we look closely, all the other holidays have an element of remembering supernatural  and miraculous things. On Pesah we remember the plagues that took place in Egypt as well as Keriat Yam Suf. On Shavuot we commemorate the giving of the Torah HaKedosha. Hanukkah is the festival of the lights that burned for eight days. Um, what’s the miracle of Purim? Meanwhile, THIS is the holiday we want to celebrate in the days of Mashiah when everything is a miracle?

Exactly. This is the holiday we want to celebrate in the days of Mashiah because the miracle of Purim is a hidden one. During the days before Mashiah, we celebrate hagim like Pesah and Shavuot to remember the time when there were once open and revealed miracle. However, during the times of Mashiah, when obvious miracles are being performed, we must not forget about the hidden miracles in our lives—and Barukh HaShem we have Purim to remind us of that.

 The story and miracle of Purim revolves around revealing what is hidden. Over and over again we see hints in the Megillah alluding to this point.  In fact, the word Megillah itself has the same root as the word nigleh, which means ‘revealed’. We also see that the identity of Ester HaMalkah is hidden as a Jew; That is why she is called Ester, which has the same root as the word nistar which means ‘hidden’. Put the two together, Megillah Ester, their meanings read Nigleh Hester….REVEAL WHAT IS HIDDEN! HaKadosh Baukh Hu also remains hidden in the story; the name of HaShem does not appear once in the entire Megillah. Of course, the entire miracle of Purim is one that is hidden.

Therefore, if we look deeper into the text, we can understand further Purim’s message of revealing the hidden. At the end of the Megillah, when Kelal Yisrael begin to feel their salvation coming, they are able to go out and eliminate the entire nation of Amalek. However if we inspect the words of the pesukim, Ahashverosh never gave Benei Yisrael the permission to actively go out and take the initiative to kill Amalek; he only gave them the permission to defend themselves in the case Amalek should attack first.

Benei Yisrael was just literally on the brink of annihilation, and now they have the courage to overlook the king’s instructions and wage war with another nation?! How are they justified in doing such a thing?

The Ponevezh (Ponevitch) Rav, who founded Benei Berak, once asked the Hazon Ish why it was that when it came to collect money for universities, people would write a one-time ten million dollar check and the university was set, but when it came to Yeshivot, he would have to go door to door and ask each person for a contribution, in which case they would give him donations of eighteen dollars or thirty six dollars and the like. The Hazon Ish gave him a brilliant and inspiring answer.

On the way to the Arei Miklat (cities of refuge that somebody who killed by accident is able to run to) there would be signs along the way giving directions of how exactly to get there. However, nowhere in Eress Yisrael were there any signs directing us to the Beit HaMikdash! Why was this so?

Think about it. If murderers were walking around Eress Yisrael knocking on ear door asking where the nearest Ir Miklat is, then all the families would be exposed and desensitized to something like murder. ‘Oh, where are you going? An Ir Miklat? Why would you be going there, you murdered someone?’ and the more Benei Yisrael would have this conversation, the more they would think murder is a common thing and become more accepting of it. It is for this reason that HaShem instructed us to give them directions to the Ir Miklat; the murders would go straight there without asking anybody any directions and it would not be known. Conversely, there were no signs leading to the Beit HaMikdash so that when people would go around asking for directions, all Benei Yisrael would hear is about the Beit HaMikdash and be compelled to go visit themselves. (Likewise, when universities get a one-time donation, HaShem does not want its name to go around too much, but when we have to work hard going from person to person to ask for contributions for a Yeshiva, we are spreading the name of Torah among Benei Yisrael).

When Benei Yisrael initiated the war with Amalek, they were being proactive about Rasson HaShem, the Will of HaShem, and that is why it was okay for them to do so. They went around spreading the name of HaShem, they set out to sanctify the name of HaShem in this world and do what He asks of us. Our task in this world isn’t to just wait around for things to happen, we must get up and do them! We must take the initiative to spread Torah and Midot and reveal them; otherwise, they will remain hidden. From Purim we learn that although things may seem quiet on the surface, in actuality, there is much more going on that meets the eye, we just have to look to find them. And when we find them, we must make them known!

Be’Ezrat HaShem, may we all develop the koah, inspiration, passion and initiative to spread Torah and be Mekadesh Shem HaShem in this world. In that zekhut may this be a month of simha, berakhot and yeshuot. May all our difficulties turn into our biggest sources of joy and celebration! Purim is a very strong time for tefilla, May HaKadosh Barukh Hu answer all our tefillot leTova uleBerakha!!!!


Ariella Samimi
Based on the wondrous teachings of Rabbi Schiffenbauer

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