The Name of G-d doesn’t blatantly appear within the Book of Ester we read each Purim. It’s encoded hundreds of times, but it doesn’t directly appear; in other words, it’s concealed. As explained by chazal, even the name Ester connotes G-d’s concealment from us as illustrated in the verse Devarim 31:18, “Anochi hastir astir panai” – “I shall surely hide My face.” In fact, the story starts off with the drunken King Ahasuerus trying to expose her beauty. And that’s the way G-d is with us. We know He’s there, his name and being interwoven in our lives and history, but his Name is always concealed. Unless we look at the spiritual and mathematical codes for his signature, He is invisible.
(Esther 1:10-12) “On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded . . . to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal . . . But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by the chamberlains.”
The Baal Shem Tov explains that Queen Ester was referred to here as Vashti because this verse refers to klippot (the evil inclination) and that spiritually she couldn’t appear naked because the klippot would have nothing to attach itself, seeing as they attach themselves to our cloths (our personal veils and agendas). As the Ball Shem Tov, of blessed memory, himself points out this is a deep secret or deep understanding.
Our essence is pure, but this is not what we put out into the world. Even our intentions many times are pure, but become polluted even before the thoughts leave our mouths. The Megilat Ester doesn’t have any revealed Names of G-d to remind us of the purity that we have within and that the real miracles come that from the blatant use of G-d’s Name, but from G-d himself. We are reminded to look at the effect, to see G-d in the miracle itself, not in the billboard proclaiming it. Once we can do that, we can then see G-d in each other, and only then see Him in ourselves.
This is also why we give the gifts of food to other Jews through a messenger on Purim: to remove our agendas from the process. And why we give charity to 2 people in need: to spread our inner light.
The whole concept as explained by the Arizal of the Book of Esther is the spiritual coupling of Zeir Anpin (the King) with the Nukva (Malchut, represented by Ester), but this cold not have been accomplished without the work of Mordechai, an incarnation of Jacob, the quintessential central column. As the saying goes, “things need to be concealed to be revealed.” Raw passion and desire is not enough; it must be channeled so that our agendas are filtered out and the spiritual light may shine through.
We dress in costumes so that we can learn to look behind the facade, behind the “mask” and “costume” others are wearing, and get drunk that night so that we forget our agendas, lose our conscious ability to see the illusions of the world. It’s at that point that we can see G-d within everyone and everything. G-d created the world for the purpose of ultimately revealing Himself in it, which is why he first be concealed; on Purim we can touch that revelation.
A Story of Revelation
The year was 1953, five years after Israel had received statehood. Joseph Stalin was planning to wipe out all of the Soviet Jewry. Also ready known for his mass genocide, he had threatened the Jewish leadership with annihilation and they begged him to send them all to Siberia instead, which would have been just a slower form of death. But on March 2nd, days away from signing the decree Stalin mysteriously took ill and died. He was most probably poisoned by his rival Beria, nevertheless, the Jews were spared. That day was Purim, 2308 years after the Jews were saved from Haman and King Ahasuerus’ decree in 355 BCE.
And interestingly enough, 355 is the gematria of Pharaoh. Everything is concealed until it is revealed. It was immediately after leaving Pharaoh and Egypt behind that Amelak arrived, link a virus that had hitched a ride. And it was from Amelak that Haman descended. We know from chazal that Amelak of gematria 240 is spiritually representative of “doubt” of the same numerical value. This is universally understood.
We are told through various prophecies that our scourge Amalek/doubt will plague us to the end of days. Through Haman, Amalek had to be defeated in order to save the Jews and bring about the exile of 70 years of the Babylonian exile. The final 70 years, the numerical value of “G0g v’ Magog” (the Armageddon War) are up in 5778 as we covered over and over again in The Divine Calendar and our articles, 9 years from now. And Amelak once again sits beside our King (the physical one), concealed only by the gematria of his name; this is for those that understand.
We have our work cut out for us. We’ll have to look beyond our personal agendas that separate us from one another to navigate the coming days.
In order to prevent Haman from succeeding, Esther and Mordechai inspired the Jewish people to do teshuva and to fast for 72 hours (an allusion to the 72 Names, repeated constantly throughout the Megilat Ester); The Jews had to delve inward to find themselves, to find G-d. Only then, could they unite to defeat Amalek/Haman as they had at the Red Sea.
We too will have to look inside if we want to see the miracles, see where they come from, defeat Amalek, and see the tree-of-life reality we all have inside ourselves. The proper celebration of Purim will help tremendously for us to connect, especially through the reading of the Megilat Ester (MGYLT ESTR), whose first and last letters (MR) have the numerical value of 240, that of Amalek, which is what the Book is designed to help us defeat.