Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Purim -- Using Happenstance to Reveal Hashgacha

I highly, highly recommend that before hearing M'gilas Esther this year, you learn these two ma'amarim in Michtvav mei'Eliyahu, vol 2, pps 128-130; v'ne'hapoch hu (and it's reversed) and inyan hipuch (on the topic of reversal).  They will stand you on your head!

R' Dessler notes several examples of the extreme precision with which Haman's plans are not merely thwarted, they are reversed (with extreme prejudice).  Haman plans to have all the Jews destroyed; BANG -- on that very day, the Jews, in fact, destroy all their enemies.  Haman plans to hang Mordechai; BANG -- on that very day Haman is forced to honor Mordechai.  Haman prepares the gallows on which Mordechai is to be hung; BANG -- Haman is hung on that very gallows.

The Maharal explains that it had to be that way.  Haman was attempting the destroy Klal Yisrael, the Am Nitzchi (the eternal nation), the nation whose existence is guaranteed and ensured by the Creator of the Universe Himself.  Throw a projectile at an impenetrable and invincible barrier, that projectile will reverse direction and come directly back at you with the the same force with which it was launched.  (That's known as Newton's Third Law to nerds of the west.)  HaShem wanted Klal Yisrael to have absolute clarity on their mission and destiny, so he created a very powerful enemy and let him loose... specifically so the whole world could see his plans -- all of his plans -- reverse back on himself.  Hang on, though, we're just warming up.

Not only did Haman's plans come back against him -- he was the one who turned them around!  Haman (who was also known as M'muchan) suggested the plan to depose Vashti and which led to Esther becoming queen.  Haman himself told the king how to honor one whom the king wishes to honor.  Haman himself prepared the gallows on which he would be hung.  When Haman sent his servants, the medrash to find a plank 50 amos long, they opined that there was only one such plank in the whole land... it was the main support beam of Haman's palace! (Yalkut Esther 1059)  Haman ordered that his palace be dismantled and, just to be 100% sure, he measured it length with his own body to confirm it was the correct length to hang its intended victim.  At that point the archangel Gavriel exclaimed, "Golly gee willikers!  So that's why we needed a 50 amah plank to be ready since the six days of creation!"

See?  You really need to learn that ma'amar.  The punch line?  Haman was hung on the 16th of Nissan.  The representative of the the nation who denies any deviation from nature, and is mossar nefesh to defend that belief, was killed on the day when puts everything aside to bring the korbon omer -- two quarts of freshly cut (even on Shabbos) barley -- to celebrate that there is no such thing as nature.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Sometimes a Food Loses Its Identity When It Loses Its Bracha; Sometimes It Doesn't

Let's start with a question: Why are We Allowed to Drink Coffee and Whiskey Made by Non-Jews?  Before you ask,"Why would I think that I shouldn't be able to drink whiskey and coffee made by non-Jews?", I'll tell you. Simple, we all know that Chazal made a decree -- known as בישול עכו''ם/bishul akim -- that particular foods cooked by non-Jews are forbidden.  There are basically two criteria that determines if a dish falls into this category:
Is not consumed raw.Fit for a royal banquet. Cooked carrots, therefore, are not a problem since they can be eaten raw (I actually prefer them that way).  Baked beans are find because the are not prestigious enough.  (For great synopsis of the laws, see the article on the Star-K site, FOOD FIT FOR A KING, by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita.)  There are lots of cool questions and details (baked potatoes are prestigious, does that make even potato chips and issue?) which are for another time.  Clearly, though, both coffee an…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…