Rabbi David Aaron, Founder and Dean of the Isralight Institute, is internationally recognized as an expert on the Kabbalah and is the best-selling author of: Seeing God: Ten Life Changing Lessons of the Kabbalah; Endless Light : The Ancient Path of Kabbalah, The Secret Life of God: Discovering the Divine within You, and his newly released audio book Kabbalah Works : Secrets for Purposeful Living.
Re-thinking the need for revealed miracles
According to Jewish Tradition, with the start of the Hebrew month of Adar, which begins today, we must increase our joy because the miracle of the Purim Story happened during that month.
Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jews in the year 357 BCE from the wicked Haman’s scheme to exterminate all the Jewish men, women and children living in the Persian Empire, which meant all the Jews in the world at that time. In the Purim story, however, there were no miraculous divine interventions. There were no supernatural plagues and no splitting of any seas. In fact, God’s name is not even mentioned once in the entire Purim story recorded in the Book of Esther (Megillas Esther).
Although the holiday of Purim is celebrated only on the 14th of the month of Adar, and in some places on the 15th, the whole month is identified with greater joy. Purim is so abundant with joy that its celebration overflows into the entire month, from beginning to end.
Commentators long ago questioned why this is not so with the month of Nissan, in which the outright miracles of Passover occurred. After all, it was in Nissan that God performed supernatural feats to save the Jews from 210 years of slavery and cruel oppression of Egypt. On Passover we celebrate the miracles of the ten plagues, the beyond time exodus of the Jews from Egypt and the splitting of the sea.
Jewish tradition, however, teaches that the miracle of Purim is actually greater than the miracles of Passover because the ultimate revelation of God’s power and ever-presence is when He does not have to interfere. This is the meaning of the Book of Esther — the revelation of hidden-ness. Hidden within the natural world is God’s presence. Within the free choice of people, God’s will and plan are being completely fulfilled, step-by-step.
When God is depicted in conflict with the wicked, in battle against evil, this is not the ultimate manifestation of His absolute oneness and almighty ruling power. The greatest manifestation of God’s truth is when we understand that God does not have to fight the villain. Rather no matter what choices the villain makes, he completely plays into and fulfills God’s plan.
The open miracles of Passover attest to God’s love and power to intervene on behalf of His beloved children, pass over judgment, overrule the laws of nature and overcome natural limitations and obstacles. But open miracles are not ideal.
The Hebrew word for miracle is neis, which is associated with the Hebrew word onneis, meaning to coerce or rape. When God performs an outright miracle it means that He forces, oppresses, violates and rapes nature to act against its natural way.
The events of Purim are a higher revelation of God’s truth, illustrating how G-d works through humanity and within nature. In other words, that which occurs naturally is actually a greater revelation of God’s power and omnipresence than miracles. Through nature we see harmony and cooperation. Rather than crushing all the forces that are against us, God uses them toward our future good. Because God’s oneness embraces and fills all, there is no confrontation between God and man, the divine and nature. Nature and humanity are not violated by God’s power and omnipresence but encompassed within it and filled with it.
On Purim, we celebrate the greatest revelation of God’s truth and love. The hidden miracles of Purim reveal that His ruling power works through the choices of man and that His love for us is hidden within every occurrence and challenge of our lives. Therefore, we can trust that God’s love and care is concealed even in the worst times of our lives. On Purim we acknowledge God’s love for us is not only unconditional but also ever-present and forever. On Purim we celebrate trust.
One of the greatest feelings of joy is to know and experience life in holy harmony with God. Because of God’s omnipresence and love, we can never go off course. We are always on target. Our task, however, is to know and feel this in our daily lives.