The festival of Purim is one of the most joyous of the year. From the dress ups and raucous behaviour in shul to the sharing of gifts thoughts of the poor and a festive meal. Purim really is the fun side of Judaism.
However when we read the story we have a very dark story emerging. A story of genocide, of a maniac filled with demonic rage against the Jewish people. A man who wields complete power within the Persian empire and is able to push through his plan with the support of the king who has abrogated his responsibilities.
It is with this background that we read of the heroic actions of Queen Esther. The queen embraces her responsibility for the sake of her people. Even if the action could lead to her own death. This was the message taught to her by her uncle Mordechai.
Leadership and responsibly can at times demand a great sacrifice. Sometimes the ultimate sacrifice. But the mark of a true leader is to step up and shine, not to hide in the shadows.
The Purim miracle and the celebration shows us that the power of the individual to make a difference. To transform history and to leave a mark that will be remembered and celebrated for generations to come.
2022 has seen the rise of a modern Mordechai standing up to another Haman. Let us pray that a resolution can be found and that soon we will truely be able to celebrate a lasting peace.