At the time of her first appearance, Rachel was already enveloped in a premonition of tragedy. Chazal interpret the seemingly joyous first meeting between Yaakov and Rachel as a pre-enactment of Rachel’s tragic end.
We may have thought that the first thing Mordechai would do after hearing about the decree of annihilation would be to run to Queen Esther and work on annulling it through their diplomatic and political connections. But that is not what happened.
Many modern Jews mistake Purim for a “Jewish Halloween” or an excuse for wild parties. This view has us put on masks, like carousers at a masquerade, to “hide” who we really are. Or, perhaps, as often proves to be the case at a masquerade, we don masks to reveal who we really are.
The Palestinian Authority leadership promised, in the Oslo accords, to disband all terrorist groups, seize their weapons, and outlaw them – in short, to put them out of business. How can it be that, 23 years after the PA took over sole control of Bethlehem, Islamic Jihad still has active terrorist cells in and around the city?
We must also work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life, that creates deep and meaningful human connections, and that turns classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors.
We must never forget that when Aaron was left to lead, the people made a golden calf. But never forget that Moses needed an Aaron to hold the people together. In short, leadership is the capacity to hold together different temperaments, conflicting voices and clashing values.
The Talmud teaches that all Israel are responsible for one another. Risa writes that the terrorists attacked Chaim with a knife to his head because he was a Jew -- therefore the Jewish people had to take special care of him.
The Rav astutely notes that the story of Esther tells us in the most lively, realistic fashion, with a tinge of refined yet biting sarcasm, about paradoxical, absurd events, which are both tragic and comical at the same time.