Purim: Performing the Truth

RS member Rabbi Robin Podolsky applies the story of Esther to our own times in this meditation from the At the Well Project.

Rabbi Robin Podolsky

My favorite moment in the Book of Esther comes in Chapter 4. The Persian Jewish queen Esther learns that her uncle Mordechai is outside the city gates, in sackcloth and ashes, lamenting. She sends Hatach, a eunuch of her court, to Mordechai to learn what this is about. Mordechai sends word back with Hatach that the bigoted courtier Haman has bribed the king — Esther’s husband — into setting a date for a mandated genocidal pogrom against the Jews. He instructs Esther to go before the king and plead her people’s case.

At this point in the story, Esther is a closeted Jew whose husband has no idea of her heritage. She sends Hatach to tell Mordechai that she is not allowed to approach the king without being summoned and she has not been summoned in quite a while. Mordechai then sends Hatach, who by then must have been a little tired, back to tell Esther that this is her moment. Either she will aid her people or she and her line will perish. Mordechai observes, “Who knows if it was not for this moment that you attained the crown.”

Read the rest here.