The King by Benny Berlin


Something very remarkable about the Megillah is that Hashem’s Name is not mentioned once.  In order to understand why this is, we must first understand the Megillah’s background – the time period of the Megillah, and what the Jews were feeling at the time.

According to many opinions among Chazal the miracle of Purim took place at the end of Babylonian Exile.  The Jews at the time did not feel a strong connection with God, and simply regarded Hashem as an old master to whom they had been enslaved but were now free to ignore.  Instead of going to Israel to rebuild the Beit Hamikdash, the Jews at the time chose to be in Galut and enjoy Achashveirosh’s feast.  Masechet Megillah 11b-12a even states that Achashveirosh’s party was a celebration of the seventieth year since the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash.  Achashveirosh purposely used utensils that came from the Beit Hamikdash for his party, and in a way he was making a statement that all hope for the Jews to leave exile was lost.  Very tragically, it seemed that Achashverosh had succeeded in his goal.  The Jews at that time were trading fundamentally important elements of their culture for elements of Galut, making a transition from Godliness to Gashmiut.  It was as if they traded the city of Jerusalem for the Persian capitol Shushan, the Beit Hamikdash for the king’s royal court, and ultimately God for a mortal king.

 Yet in this horrible period of exile there were many seemingly random events that miraculously formed a beautiful road to salvation.  The first occurred when Vashti was killed at Achashveirosh’s party, and Esther was picked to be the new Queen.  Since Esther was made the Queen, she was given the opportunity to be able to talk to Achashverosh about saving the Jewish people.  The second event happened when Bigtan and Teresh planned to kill Achashveirosh.  Mordechai overheard and reported the plan to the king via Esther, which he would never have been able to do unless Esther was queen.  Finally, the third event occurred when Achashveirosh gave Haman power to obligate everyone to bow down to him.  This led to Mordechai refusing to bow down to Haman, which in turn led Haman to go to Achashveirosh to ask for permission to hang Mordechai.  However, before Haman asked to kill Mordechai, Achashverosh was reminded of the fact that Mordechai had saved his life, and Haman was forced to honor Mordechai instead.  In the end, all of these random events came together and Haman ended up getting hanged on the same gallows that he had made for Mordechai.

These “random” events answer our question as to why Hashem’s name is not mentioned, and instead God is referred to as the Melech.  Malchut, kingship, is a term that is used to describe God’s will and how it is ultimately revealed through a series of events.  Just as God’s name was not written in the Megillah, Hashem also seemed to be hidden from the Jews at the time.  However, He was actually formulating an ingenious plan in which all the pieces fit together into one marvelous story of salvation.  This is why Hashem is referred to as the Melech – although His presence was not apparent, He was truly in control the entire time.  This is a fundamental theme of Megillat Esther, and is also relevant to today.  Many times we find it hard to feel a connection to God because He seems to be concealed from us in Galut.  We need to apply the lesson of Megillat Esther into our lives and try to find God in every event that happens to us.  May we reach a level where God is not hidden from us and we are able to see and appreciate His holiness through the events that take place in our lives.


Remember…The Golden Rule by Rabbi Darren Blackstein

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