Following Esther’s Example

By Nancy B. Greer

President & CEO
Purim is the most festive holiday on the Jewish calendar. It’s an invitation to a party, with elaborate costumes, fun spiels, noisy graggers, tasty hamantaschen, and plenty of libations.

At its heart, though, Purim is a compelling allegory about the strength of Jewish resilience and the power of Jewish peoplehood. The themes of the Purim story have played out repeatedly throughout time—the world can be a dangerous place, especially when powerful people target Jews, but our people have the courage to stand up for what’s right and live up to the maxim of kol yisrael arevim zeh bazeh, all Jews are responsible for one another.

Queen Esther’s bravery in raising her voice in defense of her people is a story that dates back over two millennia, but remains timely today. Like Queen Esther, our community is rushing to the aid of Ukrainian Jews under siege. The war in Ukraine and the suffering inflicted on innocent people is a sobering reminder that we will be called upon to follow her example, again and again. By helping Jews in need in Israel and around the world, fighting back against increasing antisemitism, working in many ways here at home to keep Jewish life vibrant and thriving, and building a world where all people are safe and all feel welcome and included.

So, let’s look forward to Purim. Find your favorite Purim recipes, put on a costume if you wish, and check out the many in-person and virtual Purim events happening around town, including Federation’s Rabbi Samuel Klein’s Community Megillah Reading on March 17 at 12 pm.

Let’s remember what Queen Esther accomplished and take comfort in the enduring strength of the Jewish people. And pray for peace in Ukraine.

Chag Purim Sameach.