Purim Dvar Torah ~ Chance and Coincidence

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While many believe that the winning of a lottery represents pure chance or pot luck, the believing-Jew accepts the fact that all is Hashgacha Protis, which means that it is all Hashem’s doing. While to the eye it seems like the choice is random, in reality all that happens in the world is directed and controlled by Hashem Himself. The Torah (in the Tochacha) warns us that those who believe that things happen through pure chance and coincidence will be treated accordingly. The Rambam in Hilchos Taanis also warns us never to believe that things just happen by chance or coincidence.

The only way one can reasonably prove that a lottery winner is the result of G-d’s will is if a prophet would predict the winner of the lottery before the lot is actually chosen. While this may still not be considered definite proof, it certainly would be considered reasonable proof, especially if this were to be repeated a number of times. While atheists like Darwin and company would still contribute it to chance and coincidence even if it happened a trillion times, most people would accept it as reasonable proof that the selection was not chance or coincidence. And so when Eretz Yisroel was divided up amongst the Shvotim, it was done by Elazer through the use of the urim v’tumim. (See Parshas Pinchos). He first announced each Shevet’s territory and then reaffirmed the choice by selecting lots. Together, this would verify that lots were not mere chance or coincidence. The use of lots made it clear that there was no nepotism involved and that everything was legitimate. Getting it right twelve times in a row was certainly reasonable proof that a lottery is not mere random chance and that it is Hashem that is calling the shots.

We also find that when Shmuel Hanovi selected Shaul as the king, he first did it by way of a prophesy, and only later reconfirmed it with the use of a lottery. While people may try and dispute a prophesy as Korach did to Moshe, the use of a lottery reconfirms the prophesy.

And so the story of the Meggilah does not contain Hashem’s Name, since the miracle occurred during the dark golus night when the Hand of G-d is not clearly seen as it was during the time of the Bais Ha’mikdash. There are always the Darwins in our midst who will dispute all reason and logic, and will attempt to explain the story of Esther as one of chance and coincidence. We certainly can’t prove otherwise. That’s because the Hand of G-d remains hidden during the dark golus night. It is “V’Onochi astir hastir Ponai.” Hashem’s presence remains hidden. Imagine looking at a puzzle from the opposite side, on which one sees just some nonsensical bunch of pictures! It’s only when the puzzle is viewed from the other side that it looks like a beautiful picture. When viewing things from this world we don’t always see the full picture. It’s only when we will later view it from the “olom ho’emes” that we will get a good and full view. Then everything will make perfect sense.

It’s only when someone reads the story of the Meggila in its entirety that one sees the Hand of G-d. Only then do we realize that the King Achashverosh refers to “Mi sheh’rayshis v’achris Shelo”. Only when Moshiach will arrive will it become perfectly clear to all the nations that Hashem was there watching over us at all times, and it will be “Hallelu es Hashem kol goyim, shabchuhu kol ho’umim, ki govar oleinu chasdoh…” Let’s hope we merit it soon in our days.