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Venahafoch hu; when everything flips

סמיילי הפוך

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Happy Purim. "Venahafoch hu - Everything flips"; these are the two key words in Megillat Esther and in our lives as well. Everything can suddenly be turned upside down and turn out for the best.

As written in Megillat Esther, the fate of the nation of Israel is clearly headed towards doom. The evil Haman is determined to exterminate the Jews and receives approval for this nefarious project from the king. The edict is sealed and the decree promulgating the Jews' destruction is sent throughout the kingdom. What chance do we have to be saved?

The Purim story teaches us that there is always hope and it is forbidden to despair. Esther the queen and Mordechai the Jew, together with the entire nation of Israel behind them - and of course with HaShem's help - flip the evil decree. Immediately after the words "Venahafoch hu" (and everything flipped), it is written: "The Jews had rule over them that hated them."

This miracle is not like the splitting of the Red Sea or the Revelation at Mount Sinai. This is a miracle within the laws of nature, a miracle that appears to happen serendipitously. Fire does not come down from the heavens, yet extremely bleak and seemingly irreversible developments are suddenly rearranged in a positive manner with an unpredictably joyous outcome.

The holiday of Purim reminds us that every seemingly impossible predicament can and must be resolved in a beneficial way - whether it's the state of the world at large, the conflict between Israel and its enemies, the strife within Israel itself, or the struggles we face in our own lives. May we merit to see everything flip and turn around for the best.


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