The relationship between bitachon – faith in God’s plans for us, and hishtadlut – our own efforts to succeed, is very subtle.
Of course, we believe that everything that happens to us is the result of Divine intervention, but should we act out our lives on that basis? If it was really that simple, why would we ever make any effort to do anything?
In reality, we know that we are expected to put in proper effort to make sure that Divine plans crystallize for us. That plan, whatever it is, should not impact how we run our lives – essentially because we don’t know what that plan is.
In which case, how do we understand Mordechai’s statement that Esther’s presence in Achashveirosh’s palace as his Queen was God’s will, and that it was all part of the Divine plan? How could he possibly have known that for certain?
Rabbi Dunner looks at the commentaries on Megillat Esther to get a sense of the strategy devised by Mordechai, and why it made sense for Esther to risk her life and attempt to force an audience with King.
Rabbi Dunner also shows how Mordechai’s statement was not a mystical declaration but rather a rational reaction to the desperate nature of the situation.