A Purim Story
Vol. 3 Issue 24
by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky
Whoever misses the Divine hand that touched the Purim story is not looking.
And if he claims that he heard the Megilah, he probably was not listening.
Imagine, the Prime Minister draws lots and decides to
annihilate the entire Jewish nation. Within 24 hours he has approval from
the ruler of the not-so-free-world, King Achashveirosh.
Within days, the plot is foiled, the Prime Minister is hanged and his
prime target is promoted to replace him! Pretty political. Pretty
miraculous. And definitely divine. Yet Hashem's name is not mentioned once
in the Megilah. Why? Of course, the Megilah is replete with allusions. There
are acronyms that spell the name of Hashem, and our sages explain that every
time the word "King" is mentioned in the Megilah, it has a divine reference.
But, still, why does the last book of the Prophets, a Divinely inspired
Megilah, have only veiled references to Heavenly intervention?
It was a sweltering August day when the Greenberg brothers entered
the posh Dearborn, Michigan offices of the notoriously anti-Semitic car-maker, Henry Ford.
"Mr. Ford," announced Hyman Greenberg, the eldest of the three, "we have a
remarkable invention that will revolutionize the automobile industry. "
Ford looked skeptical, but their threats to offer it to the competition kept
his interest piqued. "We would like to demonstrate it to you in person."
After a little cajoling, they brought Mr. Ford outside and asked him to
enter a black Edsel that was parked in front of the building.
Norman Greenberg, the middle brother, opened the door of the car. "Please
step inside Mr. Ford."
"What!" shouted the tycoon, "are you crazy? It must be two hundred degrees
in that car!"
"It is," smiled the youngest brother, Max, "but sit down, Mr. Ford, and push
the white button."
Intrigued, Ford pushed the button. All of a sudden a whoosh of freezing air
started blowing from vents all around the car, and within seconds the
automobile was not only comfortable, it was quite cool!
"This is amazing!" exclaimed Ford. "How much do you want for the patent?"
Norman spoke up. "The price is one million dollars." Then he paused, "And
there is something else. We want the name 'Greenberg Brothers Air
Conditioning' to be stamped right next to the Ford logo."
"Money is no problem," retorted Ford, "but no way will I have a 'Jew-name'
next to my logo on my cars!"
They haggled back and forth for a while and finally they settled. One and
one half million dollars, and the name Greenberg would be left off.
However, the first names of the Greenberg brothers would be forever
emblazoned upon the console of every Ford air conditioning system.
And that is why today, whenever you enter a Ford vehicle you will see those
three names clearly defined on the air-conditioning control panel: HI --
NORM -- MAX.
The writers of the Megilah left us with a message that would accompany
us throughout our long exile. You will not always see G-d's signature openly
emblazoned upon every circumstance. However, throughout persecution and
deliverance, He is always there. And just like on Purim His obvious
interference is undocumented; but we know and feel it -- and we search for
it, and we find it! So, too, in every instance we must seek His name, find
it, and recognize it. It may not be emblazoned on the bumper; it may be
hidden on the console -- but it is there. For Hashem is always speaking.
All we have to do is listen. Joyous Purim!
Text Copyright © 1996 by Rabbi M. Kamenetzky and Project Genesis, Inc.
The author is the Associate Dean of the
Yeshiva of South Shore.
Drasha is the e-mail edition of FaxHomily, a weekly torah facsimile on the weekly portion
which is sponsored by The Henry and Myrtle Hirsch Foundation