Esther / I Shall Be Hidden

Purim is associated with the Sefirah of Netzach. The text is from The Ten Sefirot in Sacred Time, available from AlephGabbai Seth Fishman, BLOG Editor

On Purim, God helped us, but it wasn’t obvious this was so.  God was never mentioned in the Megillah, and the name “Esther” means “I shall be hidden”.  God secretly helped us in our rescue from persecution and slaughter.  All the miracles were done for us by netzach, i.e., means, arrangements and influence and rooted in a kind of selflessness as, (Esther 4:3) “lying in ashes donning sack cloths” and, (ibid, 4:16) “fast for me, etc,” so that their salvation would be for the sake of netzach, and would endure. 

The Arranger of all Arrangements, Blessed be S/He, hid Hirself, but was behind the arranging of Vashti, Carshena, Bigsan and Teresh, the king’s sporadic sleeping and then learning of Mordecai’s action, and Charbona, etc., etc.  And even though God is not mentioned in the Megillah, the entire quality of the story was one of “return to God”, prayer, and faith until a recommitting between us and Hir: (ibid, 9:27) “The Jews established and accepted,” and now, (Shabbos 88a) “they reestablished what they had previously accepted” in the days of Moses our teacher, exalted guest of Netzach.  And to this day, we still read the Megillah and we occupy ourselves with donations to the poor and with support of the needy, (Esther 9:19) and “sending of goodies one to another.”

Indeed it is true that the lot, – pur -, imposed upon us, at first glance, is somewhat harsh, but through faith and trust, one can say, along with Queen Esther, (Psalms 22:5-6): “Our parents trusted in You – to You they cried and they escaped.”  Thus we also can see that it is a pleasant path God has laid for us, and how pleasant is our lot shaped by God who is (Job 37:16) “perfect in knowledge” (Psalms 66:5), and “awesome and fearful in Hir acts.”  Thus we soften the resistance to follow the wondrous, supernal, Source of fate. 

And we may stir ourselves through netzach, and year after year, with a clarity coming from supernal keter: (Zohar III 129), “In the Ancient of days there’s no left side,” so that even one who feels oneself on a low ladder, sense of gewalt!, a mere human – a human filled with guilt, nonetheless, (Megillah 7b),  “one is obligated to become intoxicated with wine on Purim,” until one arrives at what’s required, even if it’s only for a split second:  Getting drunk, amidst joy and camaraderie, in [the month of] Adar, the Pisces time, the “fish of the sea” time, (Psalms 104:26), the time of “this Leviathan you shaped to play and romp therein” (Zohar III 288) “to tap into the head that knows not and that knows itself not.”  (NOTE:  Understood as Ancient of days and meaning, “Go with the flow and trust this moment and its power.”)

And thus, while on Purim we would say, “Blessed is Mordechai and cursed is Haman,” from the place of Atik Yomin and Keter this one’s as good as that one, and there’s no need to sweat it.

And so one can say:
‘I believe with perfect faith that Hashem Yitbarach is the Arranger of Arrangements and the Cause of Causes, awesome and fearful in Hir acts. (Brachot 10a) Through “these hidden things of the Merciful One,” in an instant, (Esther 9:1), “the tides turned and the Jews dominated, etc.,” and so, my faith and trust are strengthened in God’s handling of it all, may S/He be blessed.’

3 Responses to “Esther / I Shall Be Hidden”

  1. André & Esther Says:

    wow. thank you for this open-minded teaching. it’s rare that we here about those hidden things in such a frank and heartfelt way.


    André & Esther

  2. Chaplain Gloria Krasno Says:

    Reb Zaide, beloved! Purim Blessings!

    A flask of Hir wine
    and all can change

    A turning from fear
    and a hearty ‘hazak’

    The veils swirl away
    and here we are gathered

    Netzach enduring
    Have another ‘hamentash’


  3. TIrzah Firestone Says:

    May it be so, that our faith in the Source of Fate be strengthened, and may blessings rain from Atika, the no-sided Ancient One, that we experience the day when no side need dominate, when we can just rejoice and dance each in our uniqueness.
    Thank you dear Rebbe.
    Bless you and all of us this Purim,

Leave a Reply