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Thought for the Day: Purim... There Really Was No Choice

I just looked up the definition of footnote to make sure I had clarity.  Here it is:
an ancillary piece of information printed at the bottom of a page
That's what I thought, but just be 100% certain, before I say something publicly, I double checked "ancillary", and found:
providing necessary support to the primary activities (emphasis mine)
Ah.  We are in this world to act.  There are six mitzvos that are constant and thought only (see second Biur Halacha), but the rest pretty much are about actions we are to perform or avoid.  Halichos Shlomo is amazing in that it has short, to the point halachos -- instructions for how to act, copiously footnoted with the reasoning, justification, and demonstrations of the gadol himself, R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zecher tzadik v'kodesh livracha.

There is a profound footnote on Hilchos Purim that reveals the very heart and essence of Purim.  First, there is the name itself.  Haman, y'mach sh'mo v'zichro, meant to destroy the entire Jewish people.  He meant to hang the gadol hador, Mordechai, on a 50 cubit high (that's seven stories, sports fans) gallows.  Does it really matter when he planned to do that?  Other than to know when to celebrate, of course.  So how is that I care at all how that rasha came to his decision?  Yet, the name of this great celebration, and therefore the fundamental point, is exactly that: Purim, because he drew lots (purim) to choose the day.  Another question: why purim (plural)?  There was only one day designated to kill the Jews, so shouldn't it be "Pur"?  Another problem: we don't even celebrate on that day!  We celebrate on the day after we went to battle... which was before their designated day (that was kinda the point, ya know; a preemptive strike).  How about this?  We celebrating a wholehearted acceptance of the Torah -- kimu v'kiblu -- yet M'gilas Esther marks the closing of kisvei kodesh and an end to open miracles.  Shouldn't we have been zoche to some fireworks?

Haman did not choose the day to destroy the Jews with one lot.  He through lot after lot -- setting up different lotteries to chose -- and every single lot, each pur, always fell to the same date.  Haman wanted to show that the world runs by chance.  HaShem decreed that that most chance of games, a lottery, would be the perfect vehicle to demonstrate that nothing runs by chance.  Our acknowledgement of that is what gave the entire nation to strength and courage to live with Haman's evil decree in the first place.  We all know that it was just a show; a show with mandatory attendance, but a show none the less.

That's why, continues the Halichos Shlomo footnote, we didn't take any spoils.  The "al ha'nisim" plays up how part of Haman's evil decree was to distribute the wealth of the Jewish community to our murders.  Yet we didn't touch anything of theirs.  We could have taken it all, but we wanted to make a point.  The world can't exist without the Jewish nation; the nation who keeps the Torah and thereby sustains the world.  Even if, Chas v'Shalom, the worst had happened, the goyim still would not have gotten any spoils -- because the world would have ceased to exist.  Mida k'neged mida, therefore, we also didn't take spoils.

Shouldn't we have merited some open miracles for all that?  We merited something much, much greater than open miracle; we merited to not need open miracles.  As I have mentioned before, the inescapable truth of the Torah HaK'doshah is openly revealed  by logic demonstration and observation of the world around us.  There is not greater revelation than that.  "la'y'hudim chaysa orah v'simcha v'sason vikar" (Esther 8:16); the Jews had light and rejoicing and joy and honor.  The "light" is the light of Torah... open and revealed from then and forever.


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