This week we read in the Megillah the story of Purim and the heroic acts of Mordechai and Queen Esther.
The happy ending that we are all left with, is how Esther saved the day by being married to King Achashverosh. How many of us during the festivities of Purim, stop to think how much Esther gave up?
She was happily married to Mordechai and then one day just like that, she was sent to the King’s palace and never returned home. This point isn’t felt very strongly over the happy holiday of Purim. All we celebrate is the victory of the Jewish people, thanks to Queen Esther.
Esther chose a side. Mordechai even told her that if she doesn’t wish to fulfill this act of sacrifice, the Jewish people with be saved another way and not through her merit. This sacrifice seems so hard to grasp.
Everyone gets saved and Esther must stay in the hands of this non-Jewish king for good.
As in all of our rich and long history, the Jewish people are constantly making sacrifices. There are public sacrifices like that of Esther and other great Jewish figures that literally saved the day, and then there are the sacrifices that each and every one of us makes on a personal level in our own lives.
When we find ourselves in a situation where we must make a decision, we find that the choice is usually very difficult. In order to sacrifice or choose a side we need major strength.
As a parent I find myself many times at this crossroad of decision. Sometimes the decision is small and trivial. However, there are many times that I have to make a choice which seems to please some of my children while the others feel cheated. With small children it might be why one sibling received an extra candy or the seat near the window. However, as they grow older the choices get harder.
As Jewish parents we are always seeking strength from our parents and ancestors. We might remember similar situations that happened to them, and then we are able to make better choices. And then there are the times that we make a decision and one of the children is happy while the others stay cross.
Hashem made us parents so that we can try even on the smallest of scales to understand how Hashem feels. Hashem, obviously, always makes the right choices, as opposed to us who try, but are not always successful. But the feeling of one side not being happy with us, in the end result, is a very hard feeling to endure.
As a mother I always want all of my children to be happy. However, sometimes in certain situations not all of my children agree with my actions, and this situation ends up feeling very painful.
When I think of Queen Esther I usually feel sad for her. Everyone was saved and she had to stay with Achashverosh. However, when I feel that I have difficult situations in my life where I need to make a choice, then Esther comes to mind and she gives me the strength to do what is right.
Not always will all the sides come out with a smile. And not always will the choices that I make be correct. And many times as a result of my actions, one of my children stays mad with me for quite some time.
This is the hard feeling that Hashem must feel, when things that G-d makes happen in the world don’t please His children, and then they turn away from Him. I think that whenever we feel bad about something, we must connect it to how Hashem feels, and then we can connect better to Him and receive strength from Him.
May all of our children stay close to us and understand that a parent sees things that a child does not. May Hashem make choices for us, His children, that please us and make us feel happy.
And may we always make decisions that will be good for all of Klal Yisrael, just like Queen Esther did for all the Jews, so many years ago.
Happy Purim to all.