Dear Readers,

For the Jews in ancient Persia, the situation looked terribly bleak. Haman, an avowed anti-Semite, had plotted to destroy every Jewish man, woman and child in the kingdom. He had the position, power and trust of King Achashverosh to achieve his monstrous goals. The stage was set for misery and annihilation.

Yet just as the Jews are about to despair, the story takes an unexpected twist. A slight ray of hope exists on the horizon. The turning point comes in the words that I’ve always felt were the most poignant ones in the whole story. Mordechai sends a message to Esther, his relative and Achashverosh’s queen, to approach the king, reveal her identity as a Jewess and beg for the salvation for her people.

The stakes are high. Mordechai is entreating Esther to risk her very life for the mere possibility that she can somehow change the king’s mindset and save her nation.

She hesitates. She is scared and uncertain. She considers the grave implications.

This is when Mordechai reproaches her and says: “Who can know if it is for this very reason, that you have become royalty (Esther 4:14)?” Mordechai advises her that though she can refuse to step forward—and G‑d will surely find another means for the salvation of His people—this is her chance.

In effect, Mordechai is telling her: “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” Rise to the challenge! Don’t refuse your calling!

What potent words.

Imagine if those words would accompany us in our own lives.

So many times, we confront challenges. We hesitate. We project fear and uncertainty. We shirk away. We tell ourselves that we cannot tackle the task. In fact, we must not even try. After all, who are we? Let another who is far more capable attempt it.

And the words of Mordechai ring loud: “Sure, G‑d can find another messenger. G‑d can find another means to enact His grand plan.

But what about YOU? How can you squander your chance? How can you forego this opportunity? Who knows if it is for this very situation, this very experience, that you have been created? Rise up to the challenge! You can do it!”

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW