Guest Author - Lisa Pinkus
The story of Purim is a terrific platform for Jewish learning. It involves a great story of Jews overcoming the odds, defying death, and connecting to their essence. It is a tale filled with metaphors and themes from which to draw modern day life lessons. One of the illuminations drawn from the Purim narrative is the ability to find G-d in hidden places.
Not once in the Book of Esther is the name of G-d mentioned. As the Megillah unfolds, miraculous instances occur. Huge displays of radical coincidence seem to unfold in the perfect pattern of seemingly disconnected events. The word megillah traditionally defined as scroll also has another meaning. Megillah can also mean expose. Similarly, Esther is not merely a woman’s name. Esther also means to conceal.
The entire Purim tale is about revealing that which is hidden. It is very fitting to today where we have to seek out the presence of G-d. He does not speak directly to us as he did during the time of Moses. He does not guide us the way he guided Abraham. We must be active participants in seeking out godly encounters.
When we open our eyes to the world and to life, we can find G-d in many places.
Songs have the power to lift our spirits, to take our souls on a journey. Is there a song that carries you away? Next time you listen to it, feel the presence of G-d.
The actions, the words, the expressions, and the pure delight of children remind us that life bestows gifts upon us on a daily basis. We have merely to slow down and pay attention.
So many people feel a shift of energy when they spend time outdoors. The fresh air, the majestic landscapes, and the pure connection to G-d overcome us in these moments. Nature is certainly a pathway to G-d. Next time you are outside, pause – and offer appreciation to the Creator.
Do you perform mitzvot in a rote manner or are you aware of a deeper presence? When you are able to stay in the present moment, you are able to connect with the deeper meaning of your actions.
There are everyday miracles, and we need only pay attention to bear witness to them. From the birth of a baby to a sunrise, from strangers who stop to help someone in a life threatening situation to reunions of family members separated during the Holocaust – miracles do exist. They are those unexplainable events that we often chalk up to coincidence.
An open heart
Living life with an open heart takes strength and courage, but it certainly has its rewards. When you live life from a position of gratitude and vulnerability, your appreciation for what is intensifies.
Ultimately what we bear witness to are the remnants, messages, and gifts from G-d. We cannot actually see G-d for “Thou cannot see My face, for man shall not see Me and live” (Exodus 33:20). But these gifts allow us a glimpse – or at least a connection to the Almighty. And, even if we cannot see G-d, we can continue to feel G-d in hidden spaces.