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Weekly Chizuk


Dance! Tatte is Watching Over You

Based on the Peirush HaGra on Megillas Esther as adapted by Yalkut Lekach Tov, in Chaim Shel Torah.

The king's son was getting worse and worse day by day. He was associating with the worst teenage hoodlums and had picked up their bad habits. All efforts to talk to bring him to his senses fell on deaf ears. His behavior was a public embarrassment to the king who could tolerate it no longer. Upon the advice of the best educators and psychologists in the country he decided the only course was to send him away to a distant island, isolated from all his bad influences. There, in the solitude of exile, perhaps he would come to his senses.

With a heavy heart the king ordered his servants to put the prince on a boat. The boy resisted with all his might. He screamed and yelled, but to no avail. The servants forcefully dragged him onto the boat which immediately set sail. After several days on the high seas, the boat approached a desolate island somewhere in the ocean. The boy again resisted and clung to anything he could put his hands on. "No! No! Don't take me off the boat!" But again to no avail. The sailors were stronger than him and they forcefully dropped him off on the beach and sailed off. Ranting and raging the boy paced back and forth on the beach, cursing the sailors who watched from the deck of departing ship. But the ship disappeared beyond the horizon and the boy was left alone on the beach.

The young prince collapsed on the sand sobbing uncontrollably mourning his sad plight. "Who's going to look after me here? Who knows me? What am I going to do?"

Suddenly an old man appeared as if out of nowhere. He had been searching the source of the sobbing. He leaned over and put his hand on the boy's shoulder. "What's wrong my son? Why are you crying so bitterly?" The young prince was immediately entranced by the old man's gentle countenance from which shone a depth of good heartedness. He opened up his heart and told him all about his plight.

"Why don't you come home with me," offered the old man. "All my children have grown up and married. My house is so empty. It would be a pleasure for me to have some company. It certainly isn't the luxurious palace you're used to. But it is decent. You can work on my farm and in return you'll have room and board."

The young prince didn't really have any choice. This was obviously the only choice he had. It was so remarkable that the old man had passed by just as he had been thrown off the ship. What good luck he had.

And thus the prince joined the old man and helped him his work. As time went by he became familiar with the island and even made some friends with the neighbor boys.

Every once in a while the prince would wander around the island exploring the forests. Several times he suddenly found himself face to face with some wild beast, a mountain lion or a grizzly bear. As the animal approached him he prepared for the worst. But suddenly as the beast was about to pounce upon him, a hunter appeared out of nowhere and shot the animal. What luck! And always at the last minute!

Once he started hanging out with a gang of young bums, real lowlifes. Before he could get too friendly a man came over to him and rebuked him. "These boys are not your crowd. You're better than them. Get away from them. Go home!"

This scenario repeated itself time and time again. Once he was crossing the street and a car suddenly turned the corner and was heading right for him. At the last minute a passerby grabbed him by his collar and pulled him out of the car's path. Wow! That was lucky! Just in the nick of time.

One day he was taking a walk with his friends. Suddenly he started singing and dancing in the middle of the street. "What's going on? Have you lost your mind," they asked.

Finally he calmed down and had the composure to tell them. "Remember my story, how I was dropped off here and abandoned by the king's servants? Now I understand everything. The old man who happened to pass by just at the right moment and had compassion on me and took me in. He was sent by my father. He never goes to the beach. What brought him there then just as I arrived? He had been sent a message to look for me at that beach just as I was being lowered down from the ship. It was no coincidence that he passed by just at the right time.

"And all those wild animals that almost finished me off. Just at the last moment some stranger just happened to be nearby to save me. And do you remember last week when I was almost run over and some stranger grabbed me to safety?

"Now I understand! My father the king never forgot about me. He was always looking out for me. He sent his servants to watch over me and make sure nothing ever happens to me. Wow! My father still loves me! Why shouldn't I dance?"

At the birth of Klal Yisroel, during Yetzias Mitzrayim, we were zocheh to the greatest Ha'aras Panim possible - open and most remarkable miracles. Everyone felt a special closeness to Hakadosh Baruch Hu. When Klal Yisroel dwelled in Eretz Yisroel they were in the palace of the King. And the King saved them from many mishaps. They were attacked numerous times by neighboring nations and Hashem gave them victory over their enemies. Whenever they started imitating the bad habits of the idol worshipping nations, Hashem sent His prophets to rebuke them and prod them back to righteousness.

But that was all in Eretz Yisroel, the palace of the king. Eventually their behavior deteriorated to such an extent that the King had to exile them. They suffered the Churban Bayis Rishon and were sent into the Babylonian Exile. Now their enemies would surely destroy them. They were no longer under the king's supervision. Klal Yisroel felt lost.

In Eretz Yisroel they had enjoyed Ha'aras Panim, a Divine supervision that was obvious to all. But now in Golus, they saw only Hester Panim, a dark dangerous golus.

But how lucky they had been. Here they were in Bavel, a land with a language similar to Hebrew. And 11 years before the Exile, the first exile of Torah scholars had been sent to Bavel and they had set up a basic infrastructure to greet the arriving refugees. The transition wasn't all that catastrophic. What good fortune!

But suddenly, after that lavish party of Achashveirosh, he suddenly turned sour. He and Haman schemed to annihilate the entire Jewish nation. All hope was lost. It was over for the Jewish People.

But at the last minute everything turned around and "by good fortune" Esther found her way into the king's palace. Mordechai "happened" to find out about the conspiracy to assassinate the king. Achashveirosh had a strange nightmare and just at the right moment the king discovered Haman's servants cutting down his priceless orchard. With "good luck" and Esther and Mordechai in the right place at the right time, everything worked out to foil Haman's plans. Suddenly the Yidden burst out in rejoicing. It was not "good luck." It wasn't coincidence and just good mazal. It was all planned! Tatte is still looking over us. He still cares about us, even in Golus. We are still His People and He is taking care of us. Why shouldn't we dance!

Wishing you all a Freilichen Purim!

Rabbi Eliezer Parkoff
4 Panim Meirot, Jerusalem 94423 Israel
Tel: 732-858-1257
Rabbi Parkoff is author of "Chizuk!" and "Trust Me!" (Feldheim Publishers), and "Mission Possible!" (Israel Book Shop Lakewood).
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