Ah, we have finally arrived at the gates of Purim. The final holiday of the year, which probably contains the most "power" to it, yet is misused, or at best, not used, by most of us.
The miracle of Purim, as we know, is not like that of Pesach. Pesach was when Hashem revealed His power in the world in such a way that it could not be denied by anybody who was there. It was supernatural to the extreme. Purim, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. The story itself took over several years from the beginning until the end, and the rescue of the Jewish nation was done solely through natural means. Yet, the Zohar states, the same "power of mercy" that flowed from Hashem during the first Purim, continues in an undiluted state every single Purim. Obviously, something interesting is happening here.
The Gemara states that when Moshiach comes all of Tanach (Torah, Prophets, Writings) will be nullified, with the exception of The Five Books of Moshe and Megillas Esther. Why? The Torah contains the rules of life. Take what we say in Shema for example. When we serve Hashem properly, brachos, such as rain, will come upon us. If we don't, then the opposite occurs. This is how life operates on a day-to-day basis. Blessings and curses are not dependent on how Hashem feels, but rather are dependent on how we act and behave. We do our job, He does His.
The rest of Tanach, follows this idea. Constantly, we are reminded, for example, from the Prophets that if we don't follow the Torah blessings with be withheld, and if we do follow, blessings will flow.
We also see that we need to do "our part," before He does His. If a person needs money for food and home, he needs to work. After his does his hishtadlus, his "part," then Hashem does His. If a person wants to grow spiritually, he needs to do his part. He wants to be successful in his learning, he needs to sit and learn, but not in some haphazard way. Rather, he needs to put in his 100 percent, and only after that Hashem will step in and complete the task.
Many years ago, I was involved in trying to sell a piece of property and it went really, really bad. The other side ended up forging documents and things got really ugly. I was in a very stuck situation and losing money fast. My lawyer said that she had never seen such a situation. I did every form of hishtadlus possible, and every turn I took, things fell apart. Finally, I said, "Okay, that's it! Hashem, I can't do anything else. I'm turning it over to you." Shortly thereafter, I was finally able to resolve and leave the situation. If I took that route in the beginning, I doubt I would have received such help. Only after doing whatever I could and realizing that ultimately it was all in His hands, did He finally step in.
Megillas Esther is different. It teaches that there is a very different way that Hashem can operate (and He does so on every Purim). That is, He operates solely through His mercy for the Jewish people. It doesn't require us to return and do mitzvos properly, before He responds, rather, He doesn't respond at all! He initiates! This is something that is not found in the Torah. Usually, we initiate and He responds, yet on Purim, He initiates the relationship. In fact, the only thing we see the Jewish people doing on Purim is simply crying out. We don't see some mass movement in tshuvah.
Purim is a time where we "step aside" and let Hashem take over.
Rav Shimshon Pincus notes that throughout the first nine plagues that hit Egypt, Moshe and Ahron initiated the plagues, through warnings and actions, and still Pharoah would not stand down. Finally, on the final plague, Hashem said, "Step aside … I'll take care of this personally and solely on My own."
You'll notice that we have 10 "stations" that we use throughout the year. Each station builds us up in a way that no other station can do. We start with Pesach, then move to Sefiras Ha'Omer, then Shavous, Tisha B'Av, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkos, Shmini Atzeres, Chanukkah, and then finally Purim.
On each holiday, we do different mitzvos and change our davening accordingly. And through those actions, we grow as Jews. On Purim, what is the mitzvah? Simple. We eat and drink until we get drunk. Purim is the last station where we say, "Hashem, I spent the whole year trying to build myself. I did what I can do, but I cannot go any farther. Now it's all up to You to help me move up." When we are sober and involved in the world, it's very hard to truly see that. But, through drinking properly, with the right intentions, we can reach that level when we see and understand how the world truly operates.
The entire year is our hishtadlus; Purim is when we move aside and let Hashem take over.
This Purim, we have an entire day to use for davening. By random "acts of davening" throughout the day, we can ask Hashem for any help in the world. Physically or spiritually. Through our drunkenness, we realized that ultimately, after all our attempts of helping ourselves, Hashem is the only one who can help us and bring us the salvations we need as an individual and as a nation.
With that, may we all use Purim properly and in a meaningful manner.