There are miracles and there are miracles.

True, every Jewish holiday comes down to the same basic theme ("They tried to kill us, G‑d saved us, let's eat!). Still, the story behind each holiday expresses it differently.

Some divine interventions are as plain as day. Like walls of water, manna from heaven, and stopping the sun. These are the heroic, supernatural displays that only the Master of the universe could pull off. It's as if He painted an extravaganza and signed His name in the middle in fluorescent orange, "I am the L-rd your G‑d."

Then there are miracles like Purim — understated, implicit, devoid of fanfare, completely enclothed in the ebb and flow of the vagaries of nature and society. Like an anonymous tapestry, the Scroll of Esther—the Megillah--weaves an intricate, real-life drama that does not even once mention the name of G‑d, so well disguised is His hand in the story.

Strange is it not? A book of the Bible and not even one explicit reference to G‑d? Why is that? Perhaps we can answer this question with another one. (Why does a Jew answer a question with a question? Why not?)

When listening to the Megillah being read on Purim, one must be careful to hear every word. In fact, missing one word is tantamount to missing the whole thing. This is quite different than listening to the Torah, where every word heard is another mitzvah. So why is the Megillah different?

The miracle of Purim is not one specific event. Rather it's in the way all the details hang together.

How did the tide turn toward the Jews' favor in the story of Purim? It started when the king happened to wake up in the middle of the night. Because he did that, he discovered that Mordechai had foiled a plot to kill the king, but had never been rewarded. That prompted him to call in Haman from the hall who was waiting around to get permission to have Mordechai executed for not bowing down to him.

As a cascade of perfectly natural events unfold, the uncanny result is that the viceroy Haman is disgraced and then hung on the very gallows intended for Mordechai, Mordechai is promoted to viceroy, the day designated for the destruction of the entire Jewish nation introduces their national holiday, and life goes back to normal.

So where is the miracle? In the gantze megillah, in the story as a whole. We need to hear every word because every detail counts.

To me, the message of Purim is: There's nothing natural about nature. Random processes are really anything but, and nature is just G‑d's way of managing the details without showing off. We live our lives as if events are disconnected, as if G‑d is passively watching, maybe keeping score somewhere up above Cloud 9, while we are bouncing around in the 'real' world on the pinball game of life, hoping not to fall between the flippers. That's not what's happening.

In reality, life is a constant dialog with G‑d. Every little event is part of an interactive master plan that has its own goal and logic, yet responds to our every move, subtly adjusting a world of outcomes in accordance with the quality of our deeds.

This level of divine action is even greater than the hair-raising, sea-splitting interventions of a hit-and-run nature. It is more subtle, diverse and pervasive than a capital-M Miracle. And it leaves us with our free choice to believe or not, to achieve or not. No Big-G presence breathing down someone's neck saying "Or Else!"

This helps us also with our first question — why no Name? Purim Power is a divine quality that is so exalted it defies definition in any name. Just like we can't put our finger on the miracle, we can't put our finger on the Divine quality that makes it happen.

To sum it up in two words: Megillat Esther. The Hebrew name of the Biblical book that chronicles the events of the holiday contains the secret of Purim Power. "Esther" means concealment, that hidden, nameless level of divinity beyond our ken. "Megillah" has the opposite meaning, revelation. Put the two together and you get the paradoxical reality of Jewish life - mission impossible, yet getting it done - revealing the essence of G‑d in the workaday world.

This too gives a clue to another Purim Puzzle. Maimonides writes that when Moshiach comes, all the 24 books of Tanach will be nullified except for the Five Books of Moses and Megillat Esther. Why is this Book different from all other Books?

The hallmark of the Messianic era (may it happen immediately!) is the fulfillment of the divine purpose in making the world in the first place: To make this lowly world into a home for G‑d, where His essence will be revealed. Purim is a foretaste, a celebration of the revelation of essence. By accessing the Essence through our Purim celebrations, we activate the Essential revelations of the promised tomorrow, today!