I know I am late today to talk about today’s joyous holiday of Purim, a day of celebration, remembrance, and reflection. Today’s holiday commemorates the courage and faith of beautiful Queen Esther, a Jewish queen who risked her life to save her people from destruction. According to the Book of Esther, the evil Haman concocted a plan to exterminate all Jewish people in Persia. Yet it was Esther, a simple woman with the support of her cousin Mordecai who used her position as queen to reveal Haman’s plot and save her beloved people.
On this Jewish holiday, Jews celebrate the Jewish people’s deliverance from the plot that was out to exterminate them. Traditionally the day is celebrated with communal readings from the book of Esther and a festive meal. The core mitzvah (commandment) of Purim is to hear the megillah (Hebrew for scroll), which recounts the story of Esther, in which Mordechai and Esther save the Jews from Haman’s plot to destroy them. Jews also share gifts of food, typically with at least two ready-to-eat foods, such as pastries or fruit, with friends and family. They also give money to at least two poor people and charity to other worthy causes. The celebration is marked with a festive meal, where Jews eat, drink, and have fun. At the end of the meal, Jews thank God for the miracle of Purim. Esther 9:22, it is written, “And the Jews established and imposed upon themselves and their descendants and all those who joined them, that without fail they observe these two days every year, according to the written instructions and the prescribed time.”
As I allowed my son to drive home from our family vacation, I couldn’t let the holiday of Purim go by without writing about the story of Esther and speaking up about Esther’s courage. Esther’s story is special to me for several reasons, but aside from them, Esther teaches us that we stand up for what is right and follow God no matter the cost. No fear!
Like Esther, we use our voices to fight injustice and take significant risks to do the things that look crazy to those not asked to do them while we place all faith in God’s voice and faithfulness. I relate very personally to this life and Esther’s story. It’s a beautiful reminder that even the Book of Esther says, “And the Jews had light and gladness, and joy and honor” (Esther 8:16). And for this, on this day of Purim, let us remember Esther’s courage and celebrate the joy and hope that this historical holiday brings.
God Bless You,
C. Brejcha ©️