Finding Hashem Through Tznius, by Yoel Epstein

Megilas Esther is famous for being the only sefer in Tanach with no mention of Hashem’s name. The Gemara in Chullin sees Hashem’s subtlety as central to the story of Esther. The Gemara (139a) asks, “Where does the Torah make mention of Esther?” and answers by citing the pasuk (Devarim 31:18) “v’anochi hastir astir pani bayom hahu” — and I will hide my face on that day. What is the significance of Hashem’s subtlety in story of Purim and how can we use this knowledge to be better ovdei Hashem?

Perhaps the idea of subtlety can be better understood in relation to another theme of Purim, namely, kabalas hatorah. The Gemara in Shabbos (88a) says that there was a second kabalas hatorah on Purim. The first kabalas hatorah was lacking because Hashem coerced klal yisrael to accept the Torah, while the second kabalas hatorah was performed willingly and out of love (as explained by Rashi there). The Meshech Chochma (Shemos 19:17) suggests that the coercion of the first kabbalas hatorah was not physical coercion. Rather, klal Yisrael was so overwhelmed by Hashem’s revelation that they couldn’t act out of their own free will; they could not help but accept the Torah.

Continue reading