Hidden Miracles in the Megillah

7 03 2012
Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rabbi Beinish Ginsburg 

Purim is a holiday of nes nistar (hidden miracles). A nes nistar is when Hashem intervenes and helps us, within the laws of nature. Megilat Esther does not tell of any supernatural miracles. In fact, Hashem‘s name is not found even once in the text. He is hidden in between the lines to show us that even when one cannot see Him He is there.

Both the Gra and the Malbim point out the seemingly coincidental occurrences in the megilah that were really veiled miracles.

In chapter one it says, “V’hashtiya kadat ein oness (The drinking was by law without force).” A major theme of the party was full freedom. It is therefore ironic that the king commanded Vashti to do something against her will. Hashem put into Achashevirosh’s head to do this, so Esther would become the next queen.

After Vashti disobeyed the king and Achashevirosh asked his advisors what to do, Memuchan said that she should be killed and that a new royal edict should be issued. The official law of the land was that any court case involving the king had to be decided together with his advisors. Haman said to change this so the king could decide on his own. Nine years later, when Esther told Achashveirosh, “Haman wants to kill me,” the king immediately ordered Haman executed. The Gra notes that Haman helped kill himself. If the law hadn’t been changed, Achashveirosh may have calmed down after some time or Haman could have bribed the king’s advisors.

After Achashveirosh killed Vashti, he sent out letters that every man should rule in his own home. This was another hidden miracle. It made Achashveirosh look foolish. When he sent out another letter to kill the Jews, the people waited and didn’t jump to follow his order because they already knew not to take him seriously.

Haman’s lottery fell on the 13th of Adar, eleven and a half months later. This allowed the Jews time to repent and save themselves. Haman put his faith in mikreh (coincidence) but Hashem worked it out for the good of the Jews.

The tree Haman built was 50 amot tall. It could be seen throughout Shushan. After Achashveirosh came in furious from the garden, Charvona appeared and pointed to the tree where Haman planned to hang Mordechai. This set Achashveirosh off even more and he immediately ordered Haman killed. Haman had prepared his own gallows.

The ultimate nes nistar was the night Achashveirosh couldn’t sleep. When the megilla says “Hamelech” it refers to Hashem, and at this point in the story it is read to the tune of the High Holidays services. Hashem wasn’t sleeping. He was actively saving the Jews. On that very evening, Haman planned to get Achashveirosh’s permission to kill Mordechai. The king’s servants read him the story of how Mordechai saved the king, which happened nine years previous. Had he been rewarded earlier, things wouldn’t have happened the way they did. The very second that Haman knocked to enter, the servants finished reading the tale.

Vayomer Charvona echad min hasarasim (And Charvona, one of the advisors said).” The hey in hasarasim is a hey hayediah. The simple translation is that he was one of the known advisors, but this seems odd because he was never mentioned before. The Gra and the Malbim explain. At the end of the sixth chapter, the megilah says that while Haman and his family were talking, the king’s advisors arrived. Charvona knew about the tree because he was one of the sarisim who barged in in in the middle of the discussion. Hashem timed it to the second so that Charvona would overhear.

The book of Nechemia tells how the king asked the prophet Nechemia why he looked sad. He replied that he was mourning for the ruins of Jerusalem. The king then gave permission for the Jews to rebuild the beit hamikdash. The Navi notes that the queen was sitting next to the king. Chazal say that the king was Daryavesh and the queen was his mother Esther. Daryavesh gave permission to rebuild the beit hamikdash because his mother advised him to.

The entire Purim story was part of Hashem’s hidden master-plan to bring the redemption closer.

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