Hallel for Rosh Chodesh Adar I: Paragraph Six
This paragraph is sung by Mordechai and Esther as they reflect on the Purim story:
“Give thanks to God Who is good, for His kindness is forever!
Let Israe l declare that His Kindness is forever!
Let the House of Aaron declare that His kindness is forever!
Let those who are in awe of God declare that His kindness if forever!”
Mordechai provoked Achashveirosh and Haman when he refused to obey the King’s command, intended specifically for Mordechai, to bow to Haman. Mordechai provoked Achashveirosh’s ire when he reported on the assassination plot to Esther rather than directly to the King. Mordechai is criticized by the Sages for not praying before the troubles began. He played a significant role in creating his “tight spot.”
“I called to the Creator of Heaven and Earth from a tight spot, and He answered me broadly. God is with me, I have no fear; what can people do to me? God is with me to help me, so I can confront my enemies. It is better to depend in God than to trust people. It is better to depend on God than to trust people in power. All the nations surrounded me but I survived them in God’s Name. They surrounded and encircled me but I survived them in God’s Name. Though they surrounded me like a swarm of bees, they were snuffed out like burnt thorns. I survived them in God’s Name. I was pushed to fall but God helped me.” Rabbi Simcha Zisel of Kelm explains that we are the ones who most consistently push for us to fall. Mordechai reflected on his decisions and acknowledged his role in bringing trouble upon the Jews and him.
He immediately admitted his role by returning to the palace gates in his sackcloth and ashes. He returned to the place of his powerful position in mourning his failure to properly use that power. It was at that point that he began to pray and acknowledge God’s guidance:
“The Creator of Heaven and Earth is my Help and my Hammer, and became my Savior. Song and victory sound in the tents of the just. God’s Hand makes victory. God’s Hand is supreme. God’s Hand makes victory! I will not die but live, and tell of the doings of the Creator of Heaven and Earth. The Creator afflicted me to direct me but did not destroy me.” He still could act. He was not destroyed.
After acknowledging God’s role in his past, Mordechai began to pray for the future: “Open the gates of justice for me, I will enter and thank the Creator. This is the gate to God, the just may enter here.”
He experienced the first tastes of salvation when Achashveirosh ordered Haman to parade Mordechai through Shushan’s streets. The lowly Jew was elevated. The high and mighty Haman was humiliated:
“I thank You for answering me, You became my salvation. The stone rejected by the builders became the cornerstone. This happened because of God; it is wondrous in our eyes.”
The Jews had almost a year to pray for victory on Purim. When they were victorious, they sang: “This is the day God made; let us sing and be happy with it.”
Mordechai was now raised to a position of greater power, and he wanted God’s help in properly directing his power: “Please God; Save us! Please God; Make us successful!”
The first stones were now set for the construction of the Second Temple, and Mordechai and his people sang:
“Bless those who come in God’s Name; we bless you from God’s House.
God is The Power and gave us Light.
Wave your holiday branches up to the corners of the altar.
You are my Power and I thank You, My Lord and I will exalt You.
Give thanks to God Who is good, for His kindness is forever!”