Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
Purim: G-d's Jigsaw Puzzle
Published: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 03:08:48 PM
Number of views: 2928

Amazingly, G-d's Name does not appear in the Megillah – because precisely that is its lesson: G-d's ways are not always obvious. His miracles are most often not illuminated by lightning nor by thunder as by the Giving of the Torah. In the concisely written 167-verse Megillah, no seas split and no dry bones come to life. But in the truest sense, the greatest of all miracles is narrated in the Purim story – the miracle of G-d's constant supervision and control of events, even when it seems He is not present.

With the period of Esther and Mordechai, a new emphasis was added to Jewish history. We had to find G-d's hand not in the splitting of the sea or Heavenly fire, but in everyday events. Megillat Esther means  (לגלות את ההסתר)to reveal the Hidden One, to remove G-d's mask.

The story of the Megillah spanned nine years, and only at the very end did the pieces of G-d's jigsaw puzzle begin coming together. Suddenly, widely separate links began to move together to form a chain and widely separated chains joined to become the anchor upon which Jewish survival was secured.

One set of links: Ahasuerus' feast led to the execution of Vashti, which led to the coronation of Esther. Because Esther was Queen, she was in a position to approach the King to save her people and she could lull Haman into complacency by inviting him to her private banquet.

Another set of links: Bigsan and Teresh plotted to assassinate Ahasuerus. Because Esther had secured a royal appointment for Mordechai, he was positioned to overhear them and report the plot to Esther. She told the King of Mordechai's loyalty. It was inscribed in the royal chronicle, there to lay forgotten until the fateful night when G-d disturbed the King's sleep.

A third set of links: The King promoted Haman and everyone was required to bow to him, but Mordechai refused. Assured of his power and influence – even with the Queen! – Haman built a gallows and sought royal permission to hang Mordechai, just when Ahasuerus learned that it was Mordechai who had once saved his life.

When the appropriate climactic time arrived, the pieces of G-d's jigsaw puzzle came together and formed the destruction of Haman and most of Amalek, and salvation for the Jews.

Thus we see the fulfillment of the verse in Psalms, "Behold, the Guardian of Israel does not slumber nor sleep."

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