Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Remain Silent No More

It's a beautiful moment, a celebration worthy of a holiday for the ages. After being threatened with annihilation, the Jewish people have overcome the wicked Haman (BOO!) and defeated their enemies. We are no longer forced to bow to idolatry or fear attack. Mordechai is hailed as the nation's leader and appointed as the King's advisor. Esther is the heroine who risked her life for her people. A woman of valor.
Yet, when we sing about the epic salvation, we forget one thing... we forget one person... and as the story fades into drunken revelry and celebration, I see her standing at a palace window, staring longingly, filled with pain... and painfully alone. Although the Jewish people were able to make a quick separation from their enemies by the swore, Esther was still the Queen, married to the idiot King, the stable boy who never lost that brash and stupid attitude that he grew up with.
Do we think about Esther? Do we remember that while her nation was redeemed, her personal redemption never came? She was never able to support her husband in learning Torah or celebrate in unison the beauty of Jewish marriage.
I don't profess to know all the details of the post-Megilla story, but I can't help but wonder what really happened to Esther when the last decree was finalized and it was official that her people would not be wiped out.
Did she cry? Did she laugh? If she accepted Ratzon Hashem, and never felt cheated out of the life she could have had, what life did she end up having? She wasn't waltzing around naked at parties like the wife before, and how often would Achashverosh call for her attendance at his parties? Did she sit all day and say Tehillem? Did she attend royal meetings and give her opinion on the state of affairs? I wish I could ask Esther how she could remain strong for the years following the Purim story. I feel drawn to a certain poem written by a blogger I always admired (I wonder where he disappeared to...) 


Somehow...
I've always misunderstood...
just what a nisayon is...
where the true..
the true...pinnacle of a spiritual test lie..
but I think I now know...

Its not the climb..
that difficult time...
It's not the test...
that brings out the best..
that makes you sweat...
spiritualphysical sweat..
and it's not the feeling you get..
on your way down..
the subdued elational fall..
It's not the Akeida..
..................after all
we can all have our moments..
when called 
to Action....

It's the letting down your guard..
expecting some kind of reward..
It's the coming home...
from the Akeida..and finding
your wife dead of grief...
It's coming to work the day after..your climb..
and losing your best account..

when self righteous annoyance...
turns into selfless acceptance..
which in turn..
turns into...submissive bliss...

That..I'm afraid...
Is the moment...of Nisayon..

Esther made sacrifice after sacrifice for her people. No one can imagine the nisyonos she struggled with in the face of cruel and ruthless villain. Yet, was that her hardest nisayon? 

יד  כִּי אִם-הַחֲרֵשׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי, בָּעֵת הַזֹּאת--רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה יַעֲמוֹד לַיְּהוּדִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר, וְאַתְּ וּבֵית-אָבִיךְ תֹּאבֵדוּ; וּמִי יוֹדֵעַ--אִם-לְעֵת כָּזֹאת, הִגַּעַתְּ לַמַּלְכו
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?"

But once we finish reading about Esther in the context of the Megilla, she becomes silent once more, her voice lost as Tanach is sealed for all time. 
Esther... we need your voice once more. We need you to beseech on our behalf once more so we can all be redeemed from the reign of evil and idicoy, so that we can rejoice with Mishta and wine and show G-d that once more, once again, we accept Him, we love Him with every part of our bodies and souls and want nothing more than to sing to Him...
Remain silent no more.

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