This week is Purim, it’s a Jewish holiday. Like most Jewish holidays, it commemorates a time when a bad person tried to kill the Jews, we survived, and now we eat. Purim is like that, but it also teaches a life lesson quite relevant today.
On Purim we read the story of Esther (Megillah Esther – The Book of Esther). In it, G-d’s name is never mentioned, so while reading, it seems the Jews were saved by a series of “coincidences” that lead Esther to gain the favor of the King who saved the Jews. But the real lesson is understanding that a divine power was guiding all the characters in Megillah Esther to lead up to our salvation. Even though there were no open miracles in the story, (no parting of the Red Sea, no burning bush, no plagues) there were still miracles disguised as “coincidences” or “luck’ or “perfect timing.”
These kinds of miracles happen every day.
I recently went to lunch with a friend who’s had some hard times. She lost her job, may have a long-term illness, and was depressed. Her luck changed when she recently got a job offer that ensured her great health benefits. Whew. She was grateful, but the job was 45 minutes away from her house so she would be spending less time with her two young kids and husband. A few days before she was about to start the new job, she got a call from a company she could see from her backyard. They matched her salary and offered her more vacation and flexibility. Wow. We were both in tears as she was telling me this amazing news.
Normally I don’t quote Torah study when I’m at lunch with friends, but this was too “coincidental” so I shared with her the lesson of Purim and the nature of hidden miracles as she was living one.
I told both stories—the Purim story and my friend’s story—to my children on the way to drop off them at school. They are trapped in the car so it’s always a good time for a lesson (insert eye roll here). They were glued to the tales and began chiming in with times that hidden miracles happened to them. As we approached school, my son said, “Ok mom, are you done talking now?” I responded, “Are you embarrassed that someone may hear us?” He said, “No, I want to make sure I heard everything so I don’t miss any parts.” That was a miracle for me!
This week I wish you many miracles and the vision to see those that are hidden.