The Book of Ester, which we will retell on Purim, intersects with current events in an intriguing way this year. The Purim story is, among other things, a study in power, leadership and loyalty. The Good Guys, Ester and Mordecai, work for the common good of the King, the kingdom and their people. Neither are driven by a hint of egoism. Quite the opposite. Ester, especially, is self sacrificing in the extreme.
Contrast Haman, the power hungry advisor who thinks only of his reputation, honor and power. Think how much violence is directly attributable to the anti-Semitic scheme he set into play to appease his own grandiosity.
The Good Guys and the Bad Guy both present us with models of power: The Service model and The Self-Serving model. The name of God - just to remind you - does not appear anywhere in this book about threat and salvation. Our salvation comes from 2 self-less and rightly guided people.
What a challenge it can be to discern the need and the opportunity in a critical moment and then to act courageously. I think this is something we can all aspire to; maybe we have acted this way in our own lives on critical occasions. There is a tradition that individuals can add their own personal Purim days if they survive a similar trial and redemption, if they too were saved by discernment and courage.
I encourage you to imbibe these lessons from our ancestors this year and this season as highly relevant information.