The Word of G’d is full of laws and rules. ‘Honour your father and your mother’ is even one of the Ten Words, that Moshe (Moses) received to give to the people of Israel. Adonai says that you shall honour yout parents: “so that you may live longer in the land that the LORD your G’d is giving you.” (Read Shemot / Exodus 20:12).
This month we celebrate the festival of Purim. This festival reminds us of how Adonai has saved Israel through the Jewish queen Esther. This queen had once been a regular girl. Just like any other girl in Persia during that time Esther was called to the courts of king Achashverosh ( stress on: rosh, Ahasveros), so that he could choose the most beautiful girl to become his bride.
The king had just sent his former wife and queen, Vashthi, away because she didn’t want to obey him. So it was not only Esthers beauty that got the attention of king Achashverosh, but also her gentle character. He didn’t know that Esther was not at all a ‘softy’. For she not only became queen to serve the court, but also to be able to save her people with G’ds help.
Now pay close attention! During the whole story queen Esther obeys the orders of her cousin and fostherfather Mordechai (stress on: chai). She respects the man who took care of her after the death of her father and mother. And that’s why she does what he tells her. When Mordechai tells Esther that she must not tell anyone that she is Jewish, she doesn’t tell. Esther does not tell that she is Jewish until after the moment that Haman (stress on: man ) reveals his evil plans to the king. That wise Mordechai surely knew that this was going to be their salvation! Now that the king had come to love Esther more and he knew that his friend Haman wanted to destroy the people of his wife, he could only choose for Israel!
Esther hid her jewishness. Not because she was ashamed of it, but because she wanted to save her people from the enemy at any cost. Even if she had to die for it! This obedient and strong woman was used by Adonai, so that Israel still lives today. Without her this might have been different. Do you see that Esthers obedience really led to a longer life? All right, this took place in Persia and not in the land that Adonai was going to give: Israel. Anyway, by Esthers obedience the Jews were saved and could live in the Promised Land two and a half thousand years later. Adonai keeps His promise! He uses people like Esther, people like you and me. Are you ready when He calls you?
Till next time!
Noa Naor, Jerusalem
Verse to remember: Purim is an obligatory festival, because “this was the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, the days when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. Days of giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.” (Esther 9:22)