“What do you see?” I asked as I pointed to the deep green leaf, hanging assertively off a bold branch. “A leaf ” he replied thinking I was a little strange. “Ok, what else?” He turned to face me, his dark darting eyes hovering between incredulity and impatience, ” I dunno…”. I hate that phrase, say gobbledygook, make it up but don’t retreat into that evasive, “I dunno” that lets you off the hook of self and other awareness and robs of you creative and investigative thought. “Look again” I rejoined, slightly emphatically, hoping my greying beard and demanding tone may produce some kind of response. He turned and stared at the leaf, and then something magical happened, he saw it for the first time! Now he was able to describe the many shades of green that adorned its’ surface, the intricate network of veins, the flowing organic shape and the superbly engineered stem that kept it connected and nourished. We could have sat and spoken about that leaf and explored its’ myriad dimensions, biologically, philosophically and symbolically for hours. A simple leaf.
Purim teaches us the lesson of the leaf. The miracle depicted in the historical landscape painted by the Megilah carefully avoids any mention of a miracle. It doesn’t even mention G-d, not once! Because the Megilah seeks to capture not only the theme of life but also the process. The theme is that there is a bigger picture, a precise and immensely complex set of chain reactions which create the form of our lives. The process is that you need to stop and look, take a deep breath and contemplate, otherwise you won’t see much, not the world, not yourself and certainly not Hashem.
So if you want to practice for Purim, don’t buy an extra beer, study a simple green leaf.