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Moadim Musings- PURIM

SAVE YOUR PRIDE,

NOT YOUR HIDE!

ויאמר מרדכי להשיב אל אסתר. אל תדמי בנפשך להמלט בית המלך מכל היהודים,

כי אם החרש תחרישי בעת הזאת רוח והצלה יעמוד ליהודים ממקום אחר ואת ובית אביך תאבדו

Mordechai said to reply to Esther: Do not entertain in your soul to escape in the king’s palace from amongst all the Jews, for if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall come to the Jews from some other place, while you and your father’s house shall be lost

Jewry’s future itself was clearly at stake, with Haman out to annihilate, making no bones about his intentions, to turn Jews into bones without any exceptions. No need to verify by the IAEA, no murky intelligence from the U.S. of A., nope no siree, ‘twas clear as day, black and white with no traces of gray. Yet no motorcycles with magnetic bombs, nor bunker busters for the base out at Qom, not even a flash drive with Stuxnet on file, to subterfuge centrifuge Mossad-style, there were simply no options on our table, save for a queen who just might be able, to save our skin by begging His Highness, to make her a plus and Haman a minus. Yet dangerous it was to simply approach, and dare such a sensitive topic to broach, which is exactly why Esther was fearful, yet when she confided in Mordechai he gave her an earful. “Don’t think you can give all us Jews the slip, by keeping your mouth sealed at the lip, and holding your cards close to your chest, lest they find out you’re a Jew like all the rest, letting your nation go down the drain, caring only that you do remain. Just so you know, the Jews will come through, whether through other means or through you, yet if you decide to save only your skin, nothing shall remain from you or your kin.”

What, we wonder, was Mordechai’s reason, to accuse his dear niece of flat-out treason, when all she did was give voice to her fear, that the King would kill her before he could hear, the reason she came, his Haman to tame? Where did she ever imply that she thought, that she’d better hide while the others got caught, that she valued her life over her nation’s, when all she shared was her consternation, and her worry that the ploy wouldn’t work, and she’d be hung by her husband the jerk?

There’s simply no way that Mordechai’d suspect, that Esther would ever selfishly reject, the one remaining plan for salvation, and thereby let down her beloved nation. Instead he surmised Esther thought it wise, for her to remain a Jew-in-disguise, so that if God forbid the decree would endure, there’d at least remain one Jew for sure. She’d provide a gateway for God to fulfill, His promise that we’d never be down to nil, His promise that Jews would forever survive, even when wanted more dead than alive. Maybe her mission was to be that last Jew, from which God would begin His nation anew? Who is to say, she wondered aloud, it was time to declare “I’m a Jew” tall and proud? Maybe the way to save the Jewish nation, is to put my Jewishness into hibernation?

To which Mordechai responded, “That won’t work at all, don’t solve Jewry’s problem,by bearing its pall, sure it may work for one generation, but in short order there won’t be a nation, for if you don’t act Jewish standing proud and tall, you can be sure that your children won’t act Jewish at all, so what exactly is it worth to save Jewry’s hide, by sacrificing the closet Jew’s pride, if when after all is done and said, what survived is no Jew but a gentile instead? No, Esther dear, the Jewish salvation, must and will come to a proud Jewish nation, not one that seeks to forever blend in, all in the name of saving their kin!”

How can we possibly claim to save, the Jewish future by digging its grave, hiding our Jewishness deep in a cave, while trying our way into civilization to pave? Don’t we tread on our forefathers memory by claiming, that what we do is in the interests of saving, the legacy left by the lives that they lived, by weakening it slowly and testing its give?

A question to ponder, this Purim and yonder, as we face once again the great Persian Satan, and the devil within who never quits baitin’!

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