Purim – Finding Our Higher Purpose
Tonight we will celebrate the joyous holiday of Purim, which commemorates the Jewish victory over Haman who sought to annihilate our people. We will read Megillat Esther, a powerful tale of bravery, faith, and determination. It tells the story of Esther, a Jewish woman who becomes queen of Persia and risks her own life to save the Jewish people from genocide. But the lesson of Purim is more than just the incredible story of victory over our enemies – it is an imperative to have the courage to achieve our highest and best purpose in life and to have a meaningful impact on the lives of others.
In Chapter 4, Esther’s cousin Mordechai learns of Haman’s evil plot to annihilate the Jewish people. He urges Esther, who has until now kept her Jewish identity a secret, to go to King Achashverosh and plead for the salvation of her people. Esther is hesitant, knowing that she is risking her life to approach the king uninvited. In response, Mordechai sends her a strong message that is one of the most powerful lines in the Megillah, “If you remain silent now, salvation will come from elsewhere, but you and your people will perish. And who knows if it is not for this purpose that you attained your royal position.”
Who knows, indeed. This line is one of the most intriguing and thought provoking passages in the Megillah. It speaks to a larger truth about our own lives and the purpose we might find in them. Each of us, regardless of our abilities or disabilities, has a unique set of talents and traits that shape our lives and create opportunities. We may not always recognize our own strengths or know why we are in a particular place or situation, but we can choose to embrace it and see it as an opportunity to serve a higher purpose. We can recognize that there really are no coincidences in life if we believe that we are where we are supposed to be, when we are supposed to be there. We can find our calling.
For Esther, her royal position was not just a stroke of luck or good fortune. Rather, it was an opportunity that presented itself to her through G-d’s hand precisely because she was uniquely positioned to make a difference in the world. She had the power, influence, and access to resources that could be used to save her people from destruction. Similarly, each of us has the potential to make a difference in the world around us, no matter our ability or position in life. We can choose to see our circumstances as a chance to serve others, to make a positive impact, and to fulfill a higher purpose. We can find ways to use our unique talents and resources to make the world a better place.
The message of Megillat Esther is a powerful one, and one that resonates and inspires all of us at Libenu. Regardless of our abilities or needs, we all have a Divine purpose, a higher calling, and the potential to make a meaningful difference. Esther’s bravery and determination in the face of adversity serve as an inspiration to us all, reminding us that we can overcome obstacles and achieve great things if we stay true to our values and purpose. May we all be blessed with the courage to pursue our own unique paths and to make a positive impact in the world around us.
With best wishes for a Chag Sameach,
Shana Erenberg, Ph.D.
From all of us at Libenu, we wish you a joyous Purim!