Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend


Esther's forebears, Shaul and Rochel, committed noteworthy acts of tzniyus (modesty). Rochel covered her sister's potential embarrassment by conveying to her the special 'signs' Yaakov had pre-arranged, and Shaul, as instructed, kept secret his imminent appointment as king. As a result they merited Esther as a descendant. Esther herself is modest; she is called Esther (hidden) because, as instructed, she hid her nationality from Achashverosh. (Megillah 13a-b)

In this sense, Purim is a celebration of tzniyus. (Probably a better translation than modesty is privacy. A tzanuah is one who keeps private that which should be kept private. This of course transcends merely how we dress. It is interesting that all three examples of tzniyus in this Gemoro relate to speaking or feelings, not mode of dress.)

The events of Purim occurred during a time when there was no Bais HaMikdash - when HKB'H is hidden from view, so to speak; today we still live in a world of hester panim. Hester panim is the ultimate form of tzniyus, as HKB'H keeps Himself somewhat hidden from our view. The test of the Jewish people at that time was to understand that, notwithstanding the lack of direct connection through the Bais HaMikdash, HKB'H continues to run the world, unabated, albeit through hester panim.

For this reason Megilas Esther does not mention HaShem's name explicitly; He is somewhat hidden from view. On Purim we wear masks and costumes, again affirming our understanding that HKB'H runs our world, though from behind a mask. We even drink wine to bring out hidden aspects of our personality, or, as the Rambam says, to induce sleep, perhaps meaning we thereby achieve an altered consciousness in which we can imagine direct connection to HKB'H through a Bais Hamikdash.

In the times of the Bais HaMikdash it was there that one could derive the most direct connection to HKB'H. Today we rely upon the Jewish Home, a mikdash me'at, to serve this function. (An aside: it is certainly not a coincidence that the aggadita of Kamtza/Bar Kamtza, describing the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash, is found in Maseches Gittin, describing the destruction of a Jewish home.)

On Purim we acknowledge our existence under hester panim, and we seek to promote tzniyus, the preferred mode of behavior in reaction to hester panim. A Jewish home that promotes and teaches tzniyus, in every sense of the word, provides connectedness to HKB'H in these times of hester panim. This is because those who understand tzniyus by defintion also understand hester panim: that which is most essential and precious is hidden from view.

Gal Einai, Copyright 2006 by Gedalia Litke and



View Complete List

A Spell of Brotherliness
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Creating Holiness
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

A Glaring Omission
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

It Takes Two To Fight
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Majesty Resides Within!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

The Four Cubits We Occupy
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Paint the World with Light
Rabbi Label Lam - 5775

Pray for Me
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5775


Giving Satan What He Really Wants
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

Festival of The Reflecting Lights
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Waning or Waxing
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

> A Little Background Information
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

8 - The Symbol of Eternity
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Freeing the Spirit
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

No News is Jews News
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5764

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information