The Hiddenness of God in Megilat Ester
Many Jews regard Purim as little more than the Jewish version of Halloween. I have even seen it celebrated as a victory of Vashti’s “feminist” independence from her boorish husband, King Ahaseurus.
On the contrary, it is a holiday that reaffirms an important principle of Jewish theology-that with but one exception, everyone, everything and every creature, great and small, has both corporeal existence (physicality) and a name.
The exception, G-d, has only a name (“Hashem answered Moses, I shall be as I shall be.” chapter 33, verse 14, Parashas Ki Sisa, Shemos).
Though He has no body, his nature-that of pure spirit is such that even the eyes He created and placed into Man cannot behold Him and live. (“He said, You will not be able to see My face, for no human can see My face and live.” chapter 33, v. 20, Parashas Ki Sisa, Shemos)
This living but a-physical God is what distinguishes the theology of Judaism from that of idolatry.
We inhabit in time and space but a tiny fraction of His most recent of the many worlds He has caused already to have come and gone. Everything but Himself, is of his own making. He is the first and the last. There was nothing before Him nor could anything have preexisted Him or His creation.
The name of God does not appear in the text of Megilat Ester (the Scroll of Ester), but as the drama of divine salvation of Persian Jewry plays itself out, the Jew-loather Haman and his sons died on the same gallows he had built on which to hang Mordechai, the Jew who refused to bow down to him.
G-d’s name, however, need not appear in a historical text to assure us of His presence anymore than parents need always be present for a child to understand how much they love him.
Our Sages of Blessed Memory inserted the Al Ha Nissim in the Shmoney Esray of Purim to remind Jews of future generations that God and His name are one, indivisible and invisible-Hashem echad u’shmo echad.
His presence though unseen is measurable by man’s faith.