When we review the story of Esther in our minds, we are moved by the power of Esther’s mesiras nefesh, putting her life on the line for the sake of klal Yisrael. In Mordechai we see uncompromising will to express his belief in Hashem and not wavering even at the cost of inciting Haman. We are also aware that Haman descends from Amalek, and Amalek despises the Jews, so it seems fitting that the Mitvah of “Zachor” should be around Purim time.

Perhaps, however, there is a parallel between the conflict of Amalek and Klal Yisrael and the story of Purim. The meforshim explain that Haman feeds on our lack of connection to Hashem. We see this in the midbar after we ask “hayesh Hashem bkirbeinu im ayin?” (Shemos 17:8; Rashi 17:8) – we ask if Hashem is in our midst—after that question, Amelek comes. Again Chazal point out that Amalek fought with Yisrael in Refidim. The word “refidim” points to our lack of diligence in Torah learning, again our lacking a connection to Hashem. In the story of Purim, too, it seems as if there is a lack of feeling of closeness, to the point that the Jews actually went to Achashveros’ party. This is fertile ground for Amelek to take action. Hence the story of Purim begins.

Mordechai pronounces his allegiance to Hashem, purposely walking down Haman’s block and not bowing down to him. What was Mordechai teaching the masses? He was teaching us that we have a relationship with Hashem and we are proud of it. Hashem is bikirbeinu—and is inseparable from who we are.

I think that the miracle of Purim which was al derech hateva was on purpose, to teach us this point: Hashem being in our midst is natural, not a spontaneous infusion of connection. If so, the lesson of Purim is to celebrate the relationship that we do not see, but we know exists in our heart of hearts. Therefore, the mitzvah of Purim is to celebrate our connection with joy even when we are not intellectually there, but in a drunken stupor, because we want to show that that love is inherent in our very fiber. Hashem IS in our midst naturally all of the time. Our job in mitzvahs mechias Amalek is to wipe out the question of “Where is Hashem?” When was the last time that we wiped out “the Amalek” within ourselves?