And the remaining Yehudim (Jews) that were in the province of the king
they congregated and stood up for their life… (Megilas Esther 9:16)
What was the secret of the miraculous turnabout for the Jews in the Purim
story? The answer is real simple and not simple at all!
The Zohar says, “Israel and Torah and The Holy One blessed is He are one!”
It sounds unfathomably deep and it probably is but there is a practical
value in knowing this hard to understand fact.
Even Haman was able to identify a certain weakness and vulnerability of the
Jewish People. He declared in his appeal to Achashveirosh, “There is a
singular nation distributed and spread amongst the nations.” He recognized
the lack of unity curiously of a singular nation.
There was also a diminished appreciation of the importance of Torah, as
evidenced by their rejection of Mordechai’s advice not to go to the grand
party of Achashveivosh.
To top it off HASHEM’s face was hidden! Ouch! It doesn’t get worse! When the
Jewish People are alienated from each other, they are distant from Torah,
and they are simultaneously withdrawn from HASHEM. That’s the three fold
problem! How is it resolved?
A remarkable story circulated around Eretz Yisrael a number of years ago.
Even if it is not confirmed as true, it still conveys a deep and relevant
message that may help explain why we are made more vulnerable to an enemy
attack when our business practices are less than honest.
It was during the time of when a young soldier whose last name was Wachsman
was captured. His parents took an immediate and active role in rallying the
entire nation to pray and light extra candles.
There were huge prayer rallies lead by the parents at the Western Wall and
there was a profound sense of unity and common purpose that crossed all
kinds of ideological lines and stated philosophies of life.
The end of the story, however, is less pleasant. The young man, on whose
behalf these forces were set in motion, was brutally murdered and the
momentary solidarity faded as fast.
Around that same time a young man who had been in a coma awoke shortly
afterward and asked to be brought to a certain luminary personality in our
generation. He told the elder Rabbi that he had been visited in a dream by
an elderly woman and was told to deliver a specific message. The Rabbi
displayed a picture of his deceased wife and asked if that was the woman. He
confirmed that it was.
She had asked him to relay the following: That the unity at the time of the
incident of that young soldier's capture and the events that followed was so
profound that Moshiach could have come at that very moment, if it had not
been for the sin of theft and ill-gotten gains in the marketplace.
At the conclusion of the Megila it states that the Jews “gathered together
and stood up for their lives…” The Sefas Emes notes that the word for
standing “Amad” is singular- not plural similar to when the Nation of Israel
camped by Mt. Sinai with a singular expression. There Rashi says, “Like one
man with one heart!” The unity was powerful and real.
Afterwards, in the Megila, there was also a re-reception of Torah, and
although still hidden HASHEM’s inclusion in every detail of our lives was
All three alienations were dissolved in one swift movement of unified
purpose. The cure could easily come from a rededication to Torah learning or
taking the time think very deeply about the reality of HASHEM’s involvement
in our lives and how our story is History!