The Role of Remedy before Sickness in the Purim Story

by Moshe Yosef Kerendian

Purim - March 6 -7, 2023 -

Throughout Jewish history, Hashem’s ways may initially seem random or even detrimental, but once His ways are enacted, His planning becomes evident as a help to the Jewish people. For example, a person not getting their desired job as a construction worker may look disturbing at first, but after a few months, days, years, or even hours, Hashem’s intentions become evident that whatever Hashem does is for the best. If the person got the desired job of a construction worker, the effects of it may have led him to danger, but Hashem prevented this and made it even better for the individual. The questions and reasoning for the existence of the ”mysterious nature” of Hashem’s methods has fascinated the Jewish people throughout our history, yet Hashem’s ways have been responsible for the greatest moments in Jewish history, such as the Purim story. Regarding the story of Purim, Hashem places all the resolutions to the problem before the actual problem occurs, yet another instance of the “mystery” of Hashem’s ways proving to be evident, providing the remedy before the sickness. 

The story of Purim embodies a common theme of being hidden. Esther disguised herself so Achasverosh would not know that she was Jewish. The theme of being hidden is also with Hashem, throughout the whole Megillat Esther, there is not a single mention of Hashem. How could this be? Hashem is the One who saved the Jews from being wiped up, yet He is not mentioned? Really Hashem was never hidden, He ran the entire story through those seemingly “random events” that ended up bringing the Jewish people to protection and to repentance. When Hashem planned for King Achashverosh to become wifeless and  planned that a Jewish woman, Esther, would be Queen, this appointment seemed random and even risky for Esther to be near Achashverosh, whose temper caused the death of her predecessor. This appointment actually shows that Hashem always plans the remedy before the sickness ever happens, as Hashem brought Esther into the palace along with Mordechai and allowed them to gain influence even before Haman decided to create the decree to kill all Jews, allowing Mordechai and Esther to enact the counter-decree. This was all Hashem’s plan to bring the Jews back to the covenant of the Torah. 

Hashem’s plan for saving the Jews and bringing them back to the covenant of the Torah becomes even more evident upon a closer examination of the Purim story.The key lesson of the story of Purim is Hashem’s hidden plan. In the beginning, the death of Vashti was not so clear and seemed very random. Moreover, King Achashverosh selected Esther, a Jewish woman, from the multitude of stunning ladies,a seemingly random and coincidental choice, yet a further revelation of Hashem’s plan of redeeming the Jews. Hashem planned for Haman to create the decree to kill the Jews because Hashem wanted the Jews to do teshuvah for the sins they committed, allowing the Jewish nation to build their connection to Hashem. Furthermore, Hashem planned a resolution to Haman’s decree to kill all the Jews before Haman could even make the decree through the appointment of Esther and Achashverosh’s praise of Mordechai for saving Achashverosh’s life. Hence, in a story named after betting and a lottery, Hashem’s plans, whether initially random at first, never were a gamble and paid off with a closer connection for the Jews to Hashem. This concept of the consistency of Hashem;s plans becoming evident especially applies to today’s world, when wherever you go, the essence of anti-Semitism is always present. Despite that ever-present danger  we should understand that Hashem plans everything for us, good and bad, but for an ultimate reason to help the Jews. What may not seem good at first, can change into something astonishing. The anti-Semitism may discourage Jews, but the “remedy” of having a community that is always there for you counters the “sickness”. Hashem’s plan may not seem clear at first, but placing trust in the ways of Hashem will always lead to unimaginable results just like the unforgettable story of Purim. 

Happy Purim!

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