According to many rabbinic authorities, the miracle of Purim surpasses in significance all of the other miracles in the Torah. When one thinks about it, it seems absurd.
According to many rabbinic authorities, the miracle of Purim surpasses in significance all of the other miracles in the Torah. When one thinks about it, it seems absurd. How could the miracle of Purim be greater than the splitting of the Red Sea, the ten plagues, or the manna falling from the sky? All of these occurrences seem much more miraculous and supernatural than the story of Purim as recorded in the Book of Esther. However, the holiday of Purim teaches us that miracles do not only occur when G-d alters nature.
The miracle of Purim happened completely within nature's boundaries. A king gets drunk at a party and consequently orders his wife's execution. His new queen (Esther) happens to be a Jew and has an uncle (Mordechai) in the nobility. This Jewish uncle uncovers a plot and saves the king's life. An anti-Semitic viceroy (Haman) lobbies to have all the Jews executed. The king, ignorant of the origin of his wife and the person who saved his life, allows his viceroy to make plans to execute the Jews. The queen reveals her roots and turns the king against his wicked viceroy.
All these events seem to occur naturally within the normal course of life - no lightning, no frogs, no food falling from the sky. The miracle of Purim seemed to be just a normal part of life.
From the story of Purim, we learn that occurrences do not have to be supernatural to be miracles. G-d performs miracles in our lives every day. We wake up in the morning. We have air to breathe and food to nourish our bodies day in and day out. These are all miracles of G-d. We have come to take it for granted that there is oxygen in the air or that when we put seeds in the ground, food comes forth to sustain our bodies. These miracles are the greatest miracles, because they happen every day and keep us alive.
When one prays or recites a blessing on food, one realizes the magnitude of these miracles which occur in our everyday lives. Hashem, the King of all kings, does not need us to bless Him. Rather, praying and reciting blessings on food and events are for our own benefit, so that we can realize G-d's presence in our day-to-day lives. If we take these daily miracles for granted, we are distancing ourselves from feeling G-d's presence in our lives. However, by recognizing the magnitude of these wondrous miracles, our lives can be dramatically improved.
Mitchell Scher is a junior at the Yeshiva High School of Atlanta.
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