March 2017, from the clergy

Dear Sisters,

As many of you know, Purim is one of my favorite Jewish holidays (aren’t they all)?!?

The costumes, the laughter, the hamentachen, the fun, the poking fun at ourselves and the world, and the songs. And although Purim is one of Judaism’s fun and silly holidays, it is also quite serious, particularly this year.

The story of Esther, as you may remember, is that of a young lady who rises to a position of influence, yet is instructed to hide her Jewishness while she is there. Essentially, she is told to cover up who she is to protect herself and her people. But ultimately, when her people, the Jews, are threatened, her uncle/cousin Mordecai instructs her to step forward and use her proximity to the king to save her people.

When Esther expresses fear to Mordecai over confronting the king, he admonishes her and reminds her that her life is in peril as well. But then ultimately, he challenges her with some of the most powerful words in the entire Bible; he says, “Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created.”

These words have been ringing in my ears and reverberating in my soul in recent weeks. Looking out in our world and in our nation, I do believe that THIS is the moment for which we each were created. And with that statement comes the question …. what does this moment call us to do? To be? To say?

The Book of Esther is truly about Esther’s exploration and discovery of the answer to this question, it is about her path to meaning and purpose, as much as it is a story of the Jewish people of Persia.

As we too face rising anti-Semitism and other forms of hate speech and intolerant acts, this too is our moment to consider and discern what our unique contribution will be to bring about love, cooperation, and acceptance, unity, and respect to our world.

Happy Passover!!

Look forward to celebrating with you ALL Saturday night, March 11th!!

~Rabbi Stacy

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