Purim begins Saturday night and continues to Sunday. What a wonderful holiday! It is all about courage. This holiday is about Queen Esther’s courage to speak the truth, her truth. It is about Queen Vashti’s courage to not be treated as chattel. It is about Mordecai’s courage to not bow down to evil or those who oppress like Haman. The book of Esther from the Bible is inspiring in so many ways. It is about the Jewish people’s courage to fight back.
Courage is the ability to take risks, to confront pain, fear or danger; to act rightly and justly in the face popular opposition or ignorance. Vashti, Esther and Mordecai each in their way shows an aspect of courage and bravery in this story.
For LGBT people and their families Esther’s willingness to come out of the closet about her Jewishness and proclaim to her husband King Ahasuerus that she is Jewish and will become a victim of Haman’s evil plot to murder the Jews of his kingdom was startling. She hid that she was Jewish. Her uncle, Mordecai had to prod her on saying, “Perhaps you were put in such a high place as this for just this moment.” And so Mordecai urges Esther to reveal herself. So too we must be honest about our lives. We must find the courage to speak up about are nature and in the process free ourselves from the fear and pain caused by suppressing our humanity.
Yes, there may be risks. But like Esther who was rewarded with half the kingdom there are gifts too.
So as we are inspired by the Story of Esther, perhaps we can use it as a springboard to find our own voices to speak the truth of who we are to the world. That would really be a Purim gift! Happy Purim.