Purim Then and Now
R' Pinchos Lipschutz:
Perhaps that is because before we read the Megillah, we acknowledge that on this day of Purim, we are celebrating the miraculous deliverance of the Jews from Haman’s evil plan. But once we finish reading the entire story from beginning to end and we roll up the scroll, we recognize that just as the Yad Hashem becomes evident when reading the entire story as it transpired, so will we begin to realize the Divine Hand in so many other happenings which we thought were merely coincidental.
Therefore, when the Megillah is rolled up, we recite the blessing in the present tense and thank Hashem for fighting our battles, exacting retribution on our enemies and saving us in our times of danger. We now realize in hindsight how so many things which happened to us were not happenstance. We see history in a different light. We see our lives differently. Things that happened to us which we thought didn’t make sense are now viewed differently. People who are living through difficult, trying experiences are given new hope as they realize that everything happens for a higher reason and purpose. They look forward to the successful culmination of the nisayon.
These thoughts came to me in the merit of Sholom Mordechai ben Rivkah Rubashkin, whom we all daven for. He called me asking for a vort and some chizuk, and Hakadosh Boruch Hu put these ideas into my head to convey to him. For now, the purpose of his extreme suffering is still unrevealed. The way he accepts his lot, with emunah and bitachon, as he awaits his private giluy and geulah, can serve as a lesson to many of us as we stumble our way through life’s trials and tribulations in periods of seeming hester.
We are living through a historic period, when events are transpiring at a rapid pace. Countries are spiraling out of control, as the rest of the world watches helplessly. For no explainable reason, a plague of revolution has taken root in Arab states and is spreading like wildfire. Entrenched monarchies, dictators, and murderous sycophants who exercised tight control over a domicile public are either gone, going, or teetering.
People search for answers as to how this all started and why this is happening. They wonder why Obama is so impotent in the face of a historic opportunity to spread democracy in parts of the world which have never experienced it. People fear how all this will end. Where will the street revolutions lead? Will the forces of liberty triumph or will those who seek to pull the world backwards emerge victorious?
We, who read the Megillah, know that we have to wait for the last chapter to be written to understand the inexplicable events of our day. Currently unfolding in front of our eyes is a historic drama whose outcome no one can predict. It is a time for us to do as the Jews in Shushan did, bayomim haheim bazeman hazeh, engaging in self-improvement and beseeching Heaven that the story ends positively for us and for all of humanity.
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