Mintz: The ultimate day of joy
On Tuesday, March 10, the worldwide Jewish Community, including right here in the Vail Valley, will celebrate Purim, the ultimate day of joy.
Close to 2,400 years ago, during the heyday of the mighty Persian empire, a counselor named Haman advised King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) to rid society of its greatest problem: the Jewish nation. He wasn’t the first, and certainly not the last, who saw the Jewish nation in a negative light.
He didn’t give recognition to Jewry for being the progenitors of Torah ideals, those biblical values that changed the world for the better. He didn’t commend the Jewish community for being a people devoted to kindness, even when being kind was tough. He didn’t even want the world to know that Daniel, a wise Jewish leader, served as the chief advisor to all the Babylonian, Median and Persian kings before Xerxes, including the great Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar.
Like many in today’s world, he needed a scapegoat and found one.
Yet, the Purim tale isn’t one of doom and gloom — rather it’s about the triumph of light over darkness, joy over despair. You see, unbeknown to Haman, Queen Esther, Xerxes’ wife of five years, was Jewish, and she was the bright light that brought about the miracle. Before approaching her husband, seeking relief from the decree, she searched deep in her soul to find the path to salvation.
Though she hadn’t seen the king for some time, she didn’t hire a makeup artist and hairstylist to beautify her appearance, she didn’t convene her advisors and marketing team to create a PR plan, but rather, she fasted and prayed for three days and asked her Jewish family to do the same, beseeching God to save them from extinction.
She understood, that after all is said and done, the only one that could save us is God himself and he does it time and time again. It was by the grace of God that he put this incredible woman in the palace during that era to bring about the miracle of Purim. Thanks to Queen Esther, Haman’s plan was averted.
Today, we celebrate with unparalleled joy, knowing that the future is bright, that the Esthers of the world always persevere and that happiness itself has therapeutic powers.
To learn more about the festival of Purim and to RSVP for the Purim celebration on at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, please visit http://www.JewishVail.com.
Rabbi Dovid Mintz directs Vail Chabad Jewish Center. He and his family have lived in Vail since 2006. He can be reached at info@JewishVail.com.
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