Purim: An Open Letter to a Concealed G-d

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Dear G-d,

It’s been a while. How are You?

Though You didn’t ask, let me share with You how we are. Bluntly put: We’re not doing so well down here.

Last Friday night – as You surely know – a beautiful family was butchered in cold blood. A father, mother and their three children. Just to confirm that You get their names and ages right, to assure them their box seats in heaven, here is the exact spelling of their names: Udi Fogel, 36. Ruth Fogel, 35. Yoav Fogel, 11. Elad Fogel, 4. Hadas Fogel, 3 months.

Yes, You read that right, 3 months old… Throats slashed – all of them. What did they do wrong? They were sleeping in their home in the Promised Land, on a Friday night, after praying Shabbat services and eating the Shabbat meal, reciting blessings and singing Your praises.

Yes, indeed: This happened on Shabbat. On Your Shabbat. And in Your Holy Land. The land that Your eyes “watch from the beginning of the year till the end of the year.”

In Japan, one of Your “natural disasters” – in the guise of an earthquake and tsunami – devastated an entire region, leaving over 25,000 dead, and millions displaced. (Our insurance policies call these “natural disasters” “acts of G-d”– so don’t think You’re off the hook and have been forgotten; all joking aside, when it comes to saving money our insurance companies blame stuff on You, though they don’t necessarily give You the credit when things work out alright).

These two brazen tragedies were publicized, leaving us all reeling, shaken to the core. But surely there were many more tragedies – which You, if anyone, know about more of than all of us – that did not make headlines. How many people are suffering as we speak? Only You know.

Bottom line, things are not very pretty on Earth.

Before anyone tries waxing philosophical, let me acknowledge that I am quite aware that the holiday of Purim is quickly approaching. And we know that Purim is all about Your concealed presence and Your hidden plans. Your name is therefore never mentioned in the entire Megillah, indicating Your behind the scenes orchestration.

We also know that the name of our Purim heroine, Esther, is rooted in the Biblical verse “And I will surely hide (haster astir) My face from you” (Chulin 139b).

We know all this and more.

But pray tell: Did You really have to hide Your face to the extent of allowing, for G-d’s sake, an infant’s throat to be slit??!!

Your hidden face doesn’t get more hidden than when that inhuman butcher dug his knife into the chests and slit the throats of these innocent victims…

You asked us to remember – Zachor – what Amalek did to us. To remember and never to forget. We remember all to well. This Shabbos we will remember yet again. But now, with the latest blood-drenched bodies in Itamar, we don’t need a reminder to remember; their blood cries out to us. It’s hard to forget what you see with your own eyes.

Our quesiton to You is whether You remember? You also obligated Yourself to fulfill every command You gave us. Do You remember even as your face is shrouded and concealed? Do you remember us?…

My colleague Dennis Prager wrote a heart-wrenching piece, The Other Tsunami, on what type of monster it takes to brutally slaughter children. How unnatural it is for a human being to kill an innocent child, and how much “training” and “education” is necessary to lose any semblance of compassion toward pure children. His chilling words capture the brutal reality of this and other attacks on Jews, and there is no need for me to reiterate it here.

However, what I would like to know, dear G-d, is how You see it? I understand that Your beautiful face is concealed. But how concealed can You get? How much will You tolerate and how concealed will You allow Yourself to become?

Was the holocaust not enough concealment?

And we would like to know what it’s like to see all this pain from behind Your hidden face?

I also know that in the Purim Megillah You have already planted a tailored response to this and any other tragedy: Life is filled with surprising twists and turns. Just as our lives can turn, in a blink, from normalcy to disaster, one moment the Jews were living in peace, and a moment later, a decree was issued to annihilate the entire Jewish nation, they can also turn as quickly the other way around, from catastrophe to joy.

Purim’s essential message is one of total reversal of fortune – v’nahafoch hu (Esther 9:1), ha’chodesh asher ne’hepach lo’hem (9:22) – the month had been transformed for them from grief to joy, from mourning to a festive day.

Purim is a story of surprises. What you see is not what you get. Everything is turned inside out and outside in, upside down and down side up. We therefore understand that despite the recent calamities, we surely will be redeemed, and our grief and mourning – for the Fogel family – will turn into joy.

We know all this too well. As Jews we have seen the abyss many times, and… survived.

But did we really need yet another slaughter of a pure family?!…

How much grief and mourning will it take to show us that things can be transformed to celebration?

We surely also appreciate all Your blessings, all the gifts that You bestow upon us daily. We are deeply grateful. But that does not compensate for the suffering some of us endure. And indeed, You instructed us to cry out and do whatever we can for those in pain. You created us in a way that our hearts break when we suffer and see others suffer.

We stand in awe and shudder before Your seemingly infinite capacity at concealment…

But with all the profound mystery of Your concealment (sod ha’tzimtzum they call it), and all the secrets behind Your greater plan – will we ever get some respite?!

How does a concealed face look at a baby bleeding to death???

How does it feel from behind the veil? From behind the “hastir astir” (Esther) of your face?

It must be very lonely behind the mask…

What does it look like from “behind the curtain” and the “doors of perception”?

I know You can see it from our perspective as well. And I know that You shed tears when we do. But at the end of the day, You also have the advantage of seeing it from Your vantage point. And we don’t.

That makes all the difference.

Help us out here a bit. We sorely need it.

We have lived in the dark long enough. It’s high time to take off Your mask and cloak, and show us Your face. As You Yourself promised: “No longer shall your Teacher hide Himself behind robe and garment, but your eyes will behold Your Teacher” (Isaiah 30:20), “for they shall see eye to eye” (Isaiah 52:8).

[Signed]

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Forever Mom
9 years ago

I read the open letter. The tears are flowing as a waterfall of the river that is broken by sudden fall at the end of the path. In the bottom is nothing but rocks covered over by the body of water. It might be that our human tears are flowing together and breaking against the hardness of the rocks. Silence. Deep silence. Just a murmuring of the waterfall. Is any one listening??? Is any one watching??? Does any one care????

My son did not come home at age 18. He was killed on the way home. In the morning he went to shul and bought tickets for Passover dinner for the next day. He kept Shabbos and Kosher. His soul was sweet and kind and innocent and amazingly wise. We even did not have shiva because of the Holidays. We were pushed to celebrate life.

He was the best of us. He is the best of us and I will never say that G-d does not exist. I know that He is there. I really feel and know. However, with all my mothers broken heart I demand that you, G-d, will show us your face.

As a Mother, I am telling you SHOW me YOUR face and lets talk FACE TO FACE. Enough hiding! You want us to be strong and brave. And have Faith. Well, I have plenty of faith in You, it is a time to show Your faith in us, in me. I am Your daughter – show me Your faith in me, show Your face.

Come to meadows of Earth and meet us. Meet me. Come to the waterfall of our tears and speak to us. Speak to me. I am a Mother. Yu have my son. I command you open Your doors and come out!!! Enough promises. Are you, G-d, brave enough to look in the eyes of grieving mother(s)? Turn Your face to me and look in my eyes. I have nothing to hide from You – what are you hiding from me???

And another thing: Bring Mashiach right now. I must see my son right now!!! We have to see all of our children right now!

Larry Silverstein
9 years ago

THE BRUTAL ZIONIST ROLE IN THE HOLOCAUST
THE PRICE OF ZIONISM:

If I am asked, Could you give from the UJA moneys to rescue Jews, I say, NO! and I say again NO!

Izaak Greenbaum — head of Jewish Agency Rescue Committee
February 18, 1943

Addressed to the Zionist Executive Council.

One Cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Poland

….Izaak Greenbaum

ZIONISM IN THE AGE OF THE DICTATORS

“The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not.” Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel, made this Zionist policy very explicit:

The hopes of Europe’s six million Jews are centered on emigration. I was asked: Can you bring six million Jews to Palestine? I replied, No. … From the depths of the tragedy I want to save … young people [for Palestine]. The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They are dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world … Only the branch of the young shall survive. They have to accept it.

Chaim Weizmann reporting to the Zionist Congress in 1937 on his testimony before the Peel Commission in London, July 1937. Cited in Yahya, p. 55.

Ben Gurion informed a meeting of Labor Zionists in Great Britain in 1938: If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I opt for the second alternative. Ibid., p.149.

As late as 1943, while the Jews of Europe were being exterminated in their millions, the U.S. Congress proposed to set up a commission to study the problem. Rabbi Stephen Wise, who was the principal American spokesperson for Zionism, came to Washington to testify against the rescue bill because it would divert attention from the colonization of Palestine.

This is the same Rabbi Wise who, in 1938, in his capacity as leader of the American Jewish Congress, wrote a letter in which he opposed any change in U.S. immigration laws which would enable Jews to find refuge. He stated:

It may interest you to know that some weeks ago the representatives of all the leading Jewish organizations met in conference … It was decided that no Jewish organization would, at this time, sponsor a bill which would in any way alter the immigration laws.

David
9 years ago

Why does god get all the credit but none of the real blame? I hear stories of miracles how someone was supposed to be at the World Trade Center o 9/11 yet for some reason was not there and they THANK god. What about the person who lost a close one? What about the person who never went to the WTC except for that one fateful day? Who is telling their story? Are they allowed to curse god? No, we are expected to say that we dont know what gods plans are. How convenient. Rabbi, you mention the slaughter in our promised land. Who promised it? OUR god? How pretentious. its one thing to say that we have Israel because we won it and that we need it in order to protect ourselves from another holocaust. But to say were entitled to it because OUR god said so!!! What if a group were to come and prove that god promised Los Angeles to them? Would we say ok? Maybe its time we come to the realization that there is no god and certainly if there is a god, there shouldnt be any religion. Lastly (although I have so much more), what about our commandment to kill Amalek? If not for the fact that we dont know for sure who is actually Amalek, we would be required to kill them. Even a baby from Amalek is supposed to be killed. Why? Because OUR god said they attacked us at our most vulnerable time. How does that differ from the Muslim extremist who blows himself up in a Jerusalem Sbarro restaurant? He also is following gods instructions.

Solomon Israel
9 years ago

Rabbi Simon Jacobson has done it again. Like father, like son.

Excellent response of a Orthodox Jew to a murder maniac, like the argument between the messiah and G-d in the Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni in the section before heenay ba geulaschem quoted by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in the famous public Sabbath speech, known as the LaPine Sichah.

G-d smacked the messiah for winning the debate that we Jews have suffered enough.

Rabbi Simons boss said How much more can we put up with? in effect. The boss then suffered a stroke after he shouted and cried to G-d: Enough is enough. Stop the suffering of our people. Send moshiach now.

The kodesh Phyllis LaPine was murdered, with 39 knife wounds to her body, to defend a Jewish womans honor.

1 of 3 things to die for: forced murder, forced idolatry, and forced loss of honor.

Ruth
9 years ago

One of many inspiring stories I once read was the following:
A widow still deeply mourned her husband for a number of years, crying constantly and refusing to meet other men for a potential match. Her recently married sons and other of her older children tried to coax her to stop mourning and renew her life but she wouldnt hear of it. One night she had a dream and in it she was walking through beautiful sunny fields with chirping birds and lovely smelling flowers. All of a sudden her departed husband appeared before her smiling. She asked him why G-d took him from her at an early age in life. He smiled again and explained that in his previously life he was a great tsadik (righteous person). When he passed on he wasnt allowed to enter Gan Eden because he never had any children. He was given another chance by coming back to this world and bearing children and now he had entered the gates of Heaven for Eternity. His wife asked again: but what of our 3 year old son – why was he murdered so brutally by a drunkard at 3 years old – why was he punished so?. Her husband beckoned her to follow him down a corridor where heavenly angels and the righteous were singing praise to the Almighty. She heard a familiar voice and looked to see who it was. It was her young son who was murdered. He was singing and laughing and his face was glowing with happiness. She went up to him and asked why the Almighty had taken him and in such a horrible manner. His bright smiling face turned to his mother and he said: I too was a tsadik in my past life. I was told that there was to be a pogrom (massacre) on the city and I was given the opportunity to save everyone if I was to give up my life (after returning to this world-being reborn) as a kaparah (atonement)in such a manner. I readily agreed and the city was saved. ….when I was only 3 years old. ——–

I have a teacher, Rabbi Shlomo Levenshtein who has gone through a similar story, one that is known to all. There are many such stories, all real, all true. Bottom line….G-d, who created us all, the heavens and the earth and all within is not to be understood ever in the fullest sense of the word. He is G-d Almighty. All we know is that whatever he does is good. Extremely hard to understand when there is so much suffering. When one studies Jewish philosophy he begins to understands how much he doesnt know. There are numerous books on the subject by the greatest of Rabbis and others. One book which is written in laymans terms translated from Hebrew is The Garden of Emuna written by Rabbi Shalom Arush from Chut Shel Chessed Institutions. distribution: 972-52-2240696. web: http://www.myemuna.com. printed in Israel. I highly suggest this book for all who are searching for answers. This is a book explaining all facets of emuna (faith). Without emuna, life is a mystery without reason.

Ruth
Israel

Steve Lazarus
9 years ago

Life is, indeed, filled with twists and turns. Thank you R. Jacobson for giving us this brilliant perspective…

Anon
9 years ago

And we would like to know what it’s like to see all this pain from behind Your hidden face?

How much pain do you think Hashem is in while he watches his priests follow pagans? How much do you think it hurts Him to have His people place more value on rank and status than on love and compassion? Your words ring hollow. Even now, I can feel your mind dismissing my words because of my rank and status. The holiest of our nation are not in Kollel or synagogue or government office. They hide from your religious tyranny and your attempts to induce the geulah on your terms.

But did we really need yet another slaughter of a pure family?!…
How much grief and mourning will it take to show us that things can be transformed to celebration?

As much as it takes. The death of this family is far more troubling to you than it is to Him. He has a very good reason for doing what He does.

What does it look like from “behind the curtain” and the “doors of perception”?

Order in chaos.

Help us out here a bit. We sorely need it.

You ask Him for help? Youve already turned it away because it didnt fit with your personal idea of what it should look like.

Onward and upward, brave soldier! Keep on keepin on! Its not like there are any fatal flaws in your containment vessel. Right?

YS
9 years ago

Yasher Koach – you said it all.

Harry Abram
9 years ago

Dear Rabbi Jacobson,

I could not have articulated my feelings any better than expressed in your essay. May we all soon experience the ultimate bliss with the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days!

Regards,

Harry Abram
Las Vegas, Nevada

Richard
9 years ago

We can wring our hands and question the unquestionable from here to eternity.I would like to see some response from the Muslim community. I would like to see more coverage from the media. There needs to be general worldwide community outrage and action. That will be the voice of Hashem. We are the voice of Hashem. Let us not be silent!

Yosi Barouch
9 years ago

Why did you have to remind us all of this tragic, Man bites dog, type of story? I was sitting back in my Easy Chair and enjoying my Shangra-la……..

9 years ago

we should also increase our efforts in spreading awareness of the sheva mitzvos bnai noach.

ruth housman
9 years ago

I used the refrain from a Jakob Dylan song I am listening to so often,and pondering the words. I will teach very soon, a class on the lyrics of some popular songwriters.

I so appreciate the depth of anguish expressed in this letter, and I have been saying as much, in my own many love letters to the world. And expressing major upset. There are no words, for all of this. A living nightmare, or else, we are all asleep and there is a deep significance to the words a wake and, awake.

My life is more than a dance of massive unrelenting synchronicity, so I do know, G_d is not only observing but an active participate in our lives. There is no other way. In addition, I am experiencing something major in the deconstruction of language and have been, for a long long time, all deeply part of an ongoing Diary that has its story with respect to how it all began for me.

I see you too, as author, have begun or perhaps always did, these things, with words. There is a deep alchemy to language itself, and I am asking, How is it, we can do these things with this amazing clay? And I have received in depth answers, that I am trying to explicate on line, in commentary.

I am saying there is a cosmic story and that story will bring all of our lives, into a new dimension or perspective, and we will forgive God for the sake of a story, then knowing we were, never, forsaken.

So far, no one is listening to me. This does not stop my total horror at recent events and the events of the past. i am humane and I tremble at the fall of a sparrow.

All I am saying is there is something MORE, and I see it and do believe, so will we all. Hold on. Pray. Support. Do what we can to eliminate terror as opportunities arise, and keep the Faith, because God does not renege on promises.

Z.S.
9 years ago

Thank you for permission to express our pain and anger.

Aimee Aviva Zeltzer
9 years ago

Thanks 4 articulating the mixed emotions many of have been experiencing this past week. Can you make your letter a petiton because I would like 2 sign it. Shabbat shalom and freligah Purim.

Shuli Kleinman
9 years ago

First responders who rushed into the blood-drenched bedroom of 11-year-old Yoav Fogel last Friday night were confronted with a sight that nearly stopped them in their tracks.

A colorful little wooden plaque hung above the slain young boys bed, proclaiming his love for his people and a prayer for peace between all. The prayer above Yoavs bed, written originally in Hebrew, reads as follows (in English):

May it be Your will, L-rd G-d and G-d of our forefathers,
That I love every one of Israel as myself, and that I graciously perform the positive commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself. And may it also be Your will, Lord G-d and G-d of my forefathers, that you cause the hearts of my friends and neighbors to love me fervently, and that I be accepted and desirable to everyone, and that I be loving and pleasant, and that I be gracious and merciful in the eyes of all who see me.

As water reflects face to face, so the heart of man to man.and all for the sake of Heaven, to do Your will, Amen

Along with his 4-year-old brother Elad and his new little baby sister,
3-month-old Hadas, Yoav and both of his parents were stabbed to death by terrorists who murdered them as they slept. The funeral was Zion Adar Sheini 5771

The Fogel family relocated to Itamar after having lived in Gush Katif and being forced to leave in 2005.

Zion Adar Aleph Mubarak Left Egypt and unrest began. Unrest spreads through the Middle East. Japan – Earthquake and Tsunami –and now nuclear explosions and radiation ready to boil over.

As we approach Purim and Pesach, the darkness of the background of world events looms. “The way to dispel darkness is by shining light”. Please email ahavasyisrael613@gmail.com for a copy of Yoav’s prayer above and read it each day.

As a merit for Yoav and his family, let’s take on a stretch to make his prayer come true
From now until Pesach, let’s read the prayer. And since we know other Jews are reading it to, when we are upset with others, let’s focus especially on remembering to answer their prayers:

“And may it also be Your will, Lord G-d and G-d of my forefathers, that you cause the hearts of my friends and neighbors to love me fervently, and that I be accepted and desirable to everyone “
Let us cause OUR hearts to see our friends and neighbors with fervent love, that we accept and desire everyone, and that we be gracious and merciful to all we see.

Even if we are able to do it for only 30 seconds a day – it would be HUGE.

Melech Bn Arieh
9 years ago

Lovely article to tug at the heart strings…Nothing more. We always ask G-D for the understanding of the maniacal mind, a disastrous event of nature, the truth lies within ourselves.That is the hiding place of HIM. We are created in HIS image, a microcosm of the universe. All we see is all we are and try to elevate ourselves from this minimalistic cinder block called life. Strike out with your hearts, not your brains. Lose your inhibitions, try being alive…More repression, more self control. Hes a prison.

Naftali
9 years ago

what a great article. Thanks so so much. Happy purim

Brian Yamstein
9 years ago

These events challenge our projections of G/d. We create this G/d concept and then are forced to come up with all kinds of rationalizations to defend it when life happens. Tzimtzum, Moshiach, etc. Why is it not enough to say, I dont know?

Natan
9 years ago

Any Arab or Nazis cruel hand with knife may touch me or you or anyone else, wherever you are. But this murder will not rob us of our faith.

natasha Rachel
9 years ago

Dear Rabbi Jacobson,

Thank you VERY much for this powerful cry to HaShem. It is awesome to hear a Rabbi express his true heart ache in such a public way and more importantly I think you have done it with your prayer. HaShem has heard you and NOW the tides will turn! Amen Purim Sameach 🙂

Paul Slocumb
9 years ago

Thank you, good Rabbi, for your extended psalm.

Leibel
9 years ago

You have expressed the thoughts of thousands.

norine krasnogor
9 years ago

Thank you. Hearing you, as a rabbi/teacher and Torah Jew, ask G-d, out of the depths of your heart and Torah learning, to reveal His presence with compassion and insight, following Itemar, the tsunami/earthquake, and all Israels and humanitys sufferings, is to courageously speak for many.

Chaim
9 years ago

When tragedies of these two proportions occur, it is very hard to believe that there is a G-d. I lost my father to debilitating cancer when he was 53 years old. The following year I lost my first son when he was a week old. The following year I lost my second son when he was four weeks old and my mother died of alzheimers disease. As a yeshiva graduate, I philosophized and accepted these tragedies with little questioning. However, now that I have reached the ripe age of 82, I realized that my faith was misplaced. I have been cheated of two sons and lost a father when I was twenty years old.
I no longer believe in a benevolent G-d and have ceased attending sabbath services. I have finally realized that our G-d played a number of cruel events to me in my lifetime. Dayanu!

John from Weston, FL
9 years ago

I guess the reason why these holy, innocent Jews were slaughtered is because evil exists in the world. But then one has to ask why? If Hashem is the creator, then he must have created evil as well….but why? And if Hashem is good and everything is for the good ( Gamzu LTova ) then evil must somehow also be good…but why? These are the questions that many of us Frum Jews struggle with. Were taught that the answer to the first question is that Hashem didnt want to create a nation of robots that are programmed to do this or do that. So he granted us a freedom of choice. But for this to work he had to give us something to choose between…hence he created the world with both good and evil. The answer to the second question is that while everything is Gamzu LTova, it is only from his perspective. For us humans, with our limited and finite intellect, we cannot perceive of it as good because the good is conceiled and we can only relate to that which is revealed ( ie. seeing is believing ). Once Moshiach comes, however, then G-dliness will be manifest, present and conspicuous for everyone to see and we will begin to understand how it was really all Gamzu LTova. Of course, these explanations provide no comfort to my 90 year old mother who survived Aushwitz and watched her family brutally murdered. So out of respect for her, and the souls of the departed, i dont even begin to try to explain. I am not sure that i am fully 100% comfortable with these explanations but for the time being i accept them. I sure would appreciate a little less concealment, however, and a little more revealed goodness. Good Shabbos.

Chanie
9 years ago

Very powerful! May this be what it takes to get the message through and see results, finally!

Tzivia Tyler
9 years ago

Did Hash-m feel,especially with the approach of Purim,that for most of us the holocaust and the leaders in the Arab/Muslim world are almost abstractions,but a family whom we can relate to NOW, who could be our very own family and the utter brutality makes AMALEK and our resolve more palpable/real to us?
Ad Mosai
Tzivia

Yitzchok in Pittsburgh
9 years ago

Let us all increase in acts of goodness and kindness, with the goal of bring Moshiach asap.

Jacenty Domanski
9 years ago

From the very year all bad things will happened up to Pharaoh Army to finish not finished Biblical chasing.

Esther Sarah Evans
9 years ago

bH
The truth hits hard when driven home, and the truth is we are ALL guilty, because we did not succeed in setting up a government whose leaders we can persuade to do the right thing in time.
Thats one point.
Another one – closely related – is that it is not HaShem, but we who are hidden – under the beds of our complacency – hoping things will take care of themselves. While HaShem can intervene when He has to, He wishes two things:
1) for us not to stand by the blood of our brothers, and if we see such a danger looming to wrench our very guts out to prevent it
2) He is right here. We just have to call on Him to help us do the right thing – in time. If we do not deal with Amalek as He requested, we have ourselves to blame, and we too are really to blame in this case. All the whining in the world will not change that.
3)Many of us hum and haw around about solutions for peace, when even we so-called Daatim are too cowardly to tell Shalits that letting terrorists go free is aiding and abetting murderers and that there is only ONE clear way to enlist HaShems protection – namely by keeping Shabbat ! Let us ask our brothers and sisters to join us in doing that. This beautiful family kept Shabbat, but many of our people did not and we who do were too complacent and cowardly to remind them – thinking that is not the modern thing to do, that one cannot force someone to keep Shabbat. Isnt it kinder to order people to keep Shabbat than to have them used as cannon fodder or as prisoners of or murder victims of terrorists????? – Goyim who know our laws are saying yes, here they have a real Shabbat, completely Shabbat, but some of them would rather die than observe it. Must be something wrong. – And you know, there is.
Now the clue is at the end of the Megillah, and I will quietly try to pass on to you what I passed on to some others, including your brother last night:

Right near the end of Megillat Esther – 9:29 – Esther , who issues the second Megillah – is called Esther bat Avichail and Mordecai. Apparently Rabbi Isaac Luria asserted that Mordecai was the reincarnation of Yaakov Avinu http://www.betemunah.org/allegories.doc .The name of Esthers mother recalls the words of Yosef upon his revelation of himself – his identity – to his brothers, when he asks, haod avi chai ? , although he had already asked them about their father long before that. The Perush to this revelation and question is that this is sort of a prelude to HaShems revelation of Himself.
So starting with Esther, and a ll the nisstar in this Megillah, all of a sudden, the hidden is revealed, and we are commanded in this second letter to negila (let us rejoice) over what has been nagil (revealed).
In essence, though, the Megillah is still being written. In Sefer Devarim, Parshas Netzavim,
29:28 we read, HaNistarot leHaShem Elokeinu veHanegilot lanu ulevaneinu ad-Olam leassot et kol Divrei HaTorah hazot: – Wow!
Yes, and what do we know ? – Give a look at the end of Sefer Nechemiah, and what do we find ? Nechemia doing just that – reminding Yidden to keep Shabbos and warning them by reminding them what happened to their forefathers, who ignored this: Nechemia 13:15-22. After that he launches into the inyan of goyishe women and closes off the Sefer.
Now the Nistarot and the Negilot also remind us of the Machatzit HaShekel – the half, which HaShem completes, and here we are back at Purim again, and really – the hidden is just as – yes, even more present than the revealed. Whoever fathoms that has already dealt with the al lo yada – because for him or her HaShem is everpresent, and the reminder of that fact through the revealed is no longer really necessary. If we have reached that stage, we are already in the age of Moshiach.

If my cat-style logic has made an error here, please set it right.

Rabbi, your brothers answer to such states as you point out is correct, and I added just one thing – the essential, I think: the whole world should see us all keeping Shabbos, something some of them really envy, something HaShem gave only to us, a precious gift. Not just the angelic, but ALL of us.
I sent a note to Amos Oz asking him to go before the Tzibur and request Shabbos observance. Why not ? Nothing to lose, everything to gain, and he already put in a plug for at least the old fashioned Kibbutz Shabbos with time to meditate. A step further – ok a big one – is not going to hurt anyone. The reward will blow all our minds. That one little guy, a good writer, a man who can use words right, when he wants to, could bring Moshiach. Go tell him to do what I, Esther, requested. This is my time of the year. He saved my life once without knowing it. Ask him to save all our lives now – KNOWING IT.
Gut Shabbos.
Be well, and take care.

Rifka Saltz
9 years ago

Amen. exquisitely written. Halevi that we should receive an answer soon, speedily, with the arrival of Moshiach.

meira
9 years ago

I wish I could sign this letter too….thank you Rabbi for putting words to the feeling of these days, and not attempting to gloss over or find some pat explanation for everything. Thank you for your sincerity and your humanity.

Cashner
9 years ago

A deeply open hearted.

Blessings.

Rahmiel Hayyim
9 years ago

Again Rabbi Simon you are there to help us find a personal answer to the big question WHY ? we ask in light of these travails of the footsteps of Mashiach.

Natan
9 years ago

You have my acknowlege. Im terrified.

Patrick David
9 years ago

My heart cries for this Family and the people of Japan. I constantly think how will I go. I seen my Mom murdered and her body was found in the desert 19 days later when I was 5. I have to remind myself about Joshua 1:8-9. G-d saying his with us always. He didnt hide His face. If I believe and live Torah, Moses couldnt see Hashem face to face. So hiding his face is not a option.Im lost for words. All I can say is Keep praying and may we see the Moshiach today….

jnewkirk
9 years ago

Yes, by all means this horrific crime against this Family the children and mother and father was unjustified by G-ds commandments. The devastions in Japan is a just beyond concept. We all ask questions why, how come,but we do not know G-ds reasons and plans. We my incounter and feel anger, loss, and worry about what ifs! But, does not the Torah and the Bible show G-ds words in comfort and faith? I could not fathom all what has taken place, yes, it has angered me about the slayings, my heart goes out to the famlies in my ancient homeland and birthright of Israel. The prayers and hope to the people of Japan are everyday part of my life.I too wonder what if the nuclear powerplant situation could not happen here in the states. We have nuclear power ploant less that 100 miles from the metroplex here in North Texas. But, I put faith and prayer and trust in the all might lord G-d. Just a thought to ponder.

Rand
9 years ago

As disgusting and animalistic as these murders are, it is time for Jews to wake up and accept that only they can prevent this from happening again. Arabs only understand one thing, superior force. As long as Israel bends over backwards to try to get arabs and the world to like and accept them, things like this will continue. In most of the worlds eye, you cannot get any lower than Jew. So no matter what we do, we will never be liked or accepted. So it is now time to protect Jews, especially in Israel. The Israeli government has accomplished what the nazis could not, there are vast areas of Israel the are Judenfree. So instead of standing there, wringing your hands and saying how horrible it is that the Fogel family was slaughtered like sheep. It is time to not only find the animals that did this, we must find their teachers and kill the animals, their teachers and their families. We will only have to do this 2 or 3 times and Jews will be safe. Or we can continue to have pizza places, weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Passover Sedars, buses, etc, blown up. The choice is ours, we are not just victims, we are enablers. And as for G-d hiding His Face, I refer to Rambams Thirteen Pinciples of Faith, #3, …G-d is not physical and is not affected by physical phenomena… G-d not only gives humans freedom of choice to kill He also gives us freedom of choice to prevent being killed. And Purim is the perfect time to learn that lesson. Remember, when the king told Ester how many men the Jews killed in Shushan and asked her what she her request was, Ester replied …let tomorrow also be given to the Jews who are in Shushan to act as they did today…The Jews…slew 300 (more) men in Shushan… And the Jews were respected and lived in peace after that. The choice is ours.

tzilia sacharow
9 years ago

Dear Reb Simon,
I met a young soldier, a medic who was called to the scene. His eyes brimmed over with tears and he could hardly speak about what he witnessed.
Your words were so eloquent and put into words the thoughts that fill my heart and mind. all of israel is mourning. a big businessman who owns chains of grocery stores has pledged to supply food to the family for years and years and has been doing so from the first day, outpourings of love are going out to the foges, the road to itamar is filled with cars coming to visit. you spoke for so many of us.
bless you. please call me next time you are in Jerusalem and I will be so happy to have you and the rebbetzin for dinner.
Love,
Tzilia

Ron from Tzfat
9 years ago

B. S. D .

Loss of life is certainly a tragedy when loved ones pass away especially when achieved through an act of violence, but an additional anguish is awakened within us because of the stark realization that life can stop for any of us as any moment.
G-d hiding Himself is an illusion of reality created by the limitations of our senses, just like we dont see or feel our planet earth spinning on its axis at about 1000 miles an hour. G-ds perceive hidden state is only relative to the extent of our spiritual cataract. When we remove both the cataract and it cause there once again returns total revelation.

Bayla
9 years ago