Today is Rosh Chodesh Adar.
It is the first day of the month when we increase the happiness and joy we feel in our hearts. It is a month where our nation experienced a miracle and we go into the month hoping for personal miracles in our own lives and the lives of those around us.
We can learn many lessons this month, if we just delve into some of the details of the story of Purim. We see so clearly the incredible power of sincere tefillah-how at a time of uncertainty and despair, Mordechai gathered the little children together and they poured out their hearts to the Only One who could help them...and they merited to see the yeshuah in a way they never would have imagined.
We see how the ways of Hashem are mysterious and there is so much we cannot understand...until we take a step back and look at the whole picture.
The story of Purim took nine years to play out. Of course it's easy for us to see the Yad Hashem in all of it! We are reading the whole book, the whole megillah, so when we read the part of Esther HaMalka being chosen as the new queen, it all makes sense to us. We know how it will end...we know how she was the catalyst, the one to bring the ultimate yeshuah in the Purim story to all of Klal Yisroel. But did she know it? Did she have any idea why she was the one chosen, of all the beautiful women and girls, to be the one to marry Achashveirosh?
This was the refuah lifnei hamakah.This was Hashem's way of setting up the positive outcome of the Purim story. Esther entering the palace of Achashveirosh as his new queen seemed like the most terrible thing that could have happened to her. Yet, this turned out to be a great bracha-because through her, so much good came to the entire nation. It was only because she was the queen that she was able to save the Jews from Haman's evil plans.
Hashem wanted to bring Klal Yisroel to do teshuva for their sins. And this is how they got the message-so strongly and so clearly. They united in tefillah, pouring out their hearts and praying for their lives to be spared...somehow. And Hashem brought about the miracle of Purim.
The message of refuah lifnei hamakah-of the good being set up before the strong blow has many dimensions. From the Purim story we see that it is not always that simple. It wasn't clear-at all-that Esther's entrance to the king's palace and subsequent position as queen was the refuah. In fact, it seemed that this was the greatest makah, the greatest blow that ever could have happened! But that was not the case. The exact thing that looked like it was so terrible, so unimaginable...so clearly bad...the very thing that seemed like it was the worst thing that could have happened...was the catalyst for Klal Yisroel's yeshuah!
May this month be one in which you are able to see the yad Hashem clearly in your life and where you FEEL Him meitzitz min hacharakim, peeking through the cracks of the blinds of your windows. May you experience your own v'nahapoch Hu...where things change for the good in a way that is so totally upside down...from despair to hope, from sadness to happiness, from pain to comfort and joy and simcha!
May this month be a truly happy one for you and all those close to you!