Jason Miller writes about the story making the rounds on the internet about a Jewish man who was saved from boarding the Malaysian flight because his travel agent wouldn't book him a ticket to travel on the Sabbath. He begins his article by discussing the Purim holiday and then wonders whether the travel agent story is a hoax or a legitimate happening.
"Even if this story is eventually proven to be legitimate, it doesn't mean that Shabbat or God saved his man from being on that fateful plane last Saturday morning. It's happenstance."
This past Sabbath we read the verse, "Remember what Amalek did to you, on the way when you were leaving Egypt." The work "Amalek" has the numerical equivalent (240à to the word "safek" -doubt.
... Amalek denies that any power runs the world. It's all blind, accidental, happenstance. As Rabbi Tzaddok says, they believe in nothing.
In the video below the rabbi sings a piyut sung in many Jewish households on Shabbat. כי אשמרה שבת
Towards the end of the video he discusses the meaning of the words. "If I keep Shabbat, then G-d will reward me and watch over me."
This week I heard a rabbi who asked why in the Al Hanisim of Chanukah, we refer to Bnei Yisrael as the people of Israel but in the Al Hanisim of Purim we refer to them as Yehudim. He answered that on Purim the fight was against the nation of Amalek who said everything that happens is by chance. The word "Yehudi" has its root in "modeh" to thank and to admit. We admit that there is a G-d who doesn't run the world according to happenstance.