The True Meaning of Purim
5 years ago Noah Roffe 0
Purim is a time of happiness and joy. Did you know that we are commanded to be happy? On Purim, we celebrate the defeat of our enemies, remember the decree waged against us by Haman, and recall the miraculous way in which the Jews were saved by the hands of Esther, Mordechai, and Hashem. While these are important concepts that we celebrate on Purim, it’s not the most important part.
The true message of Purim is actually not explicitly found in the megilla. Hashem’s name cannot be found even once in the entire megilla. Why is that?
Two aspects of Purim that are relevant to us today, as they were during those times, may reveal why Hashem’s name is not mentioned.
The first interesting aspect of Purim which remains a lesson for us today is the need to find Hashem during difficult times. Throughout Jewish history, Jews have been able to find Hashem even when they were faced with atrocious danger when they have feared for their lives.
For example, during the story of Purim, the Jews were faced with extermination by the hands of Haman, who convinced Achashverosh to kill every Jew, young and old. The Jewish leaders of Shushan, the capital of the empire, fought against this decree and turned to Hashem for help, yet, it does not mention that they turned to Hashem for help. They prayed, they fasted, and they believed. In the end, the Jews of Shushan were saved by the hand of Hashem. Within every event that occurs in this world, there was an invisible hand making sure everything goes right—Hashem.
In these modern times, especially when anti-Semitism is so strong, it is extremely important for us to find Hashem-to find hope, and have faith. Although it might be very difficult, it is the job of all Jews to turn to Hashem and recognize His greatness, and the greatness of His miracles.
This very important aspect of Purim is even relevant nowadays. Anti-semitism is still a major problem for Jewish communities. For example, in the past couple of weeks, Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) received bomb threats, and Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized. It is during this time when we should turn our faith and trust to Hashem, as the Jews did during the Purim story.
The second reason why Hashem’s name is missing from the Purim story is to show the power of Jewish unity and how we naturally unite during times of danger.
During the time of Purim, there was a substantial lack of recognition of Hashem. When it became known that King Achashverosh issued a dangerous decree, the Jewish community united and fasted on Esther’s behalf. This comes to show that a Jewish community can easily unite under certain circumstances, but they might need the help of leaders, like Esther and Mordechai.
Just as they did in those times, it is up to us, the Jews of this generation, to stand up and unite together. When Jews unite together against a common threat or even just to serve Hashem, there are no divisions. Like Esther says in the megilla,
“לך כנוס את כל היהודים” – go gather all the Jews.
To conclude, Purim emphasizes the need to unite and the need to recognize Hashem.