‘For Such a Time as This’

Yael Eckstein  |  February 23, 2021

Why Jews Celebrate Queen Esther on Purim

Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” — Esther 4:13-14

This month, Jews around the world celebrate the observance of Purim, which commemorates the biblical story of Queen Esther. In these devotions, I share with you the lessons of courage found in this story that are from my book, Generation to Generation: Passing on the Legacy of Faith to Our Children. Purim is celebrated at sundown Feb. 25 to sundown Feb. 26.

In February 2019, I unexpectedly lost my father when a heart attack claimed his life. Looking back now, it seems that it was divine providence that he passed away just before Purim, the holiday which commemorates the events that took place in the Book of Esther. It was the story of Esther that saw me through those first difficult weeks and months after my loss.

My father’s passing came as a shock that I had to deal with on a personal level and also as his successor in the workplace. I had already been appointed President-Elect of The Fellowship months before, but we all expected the transition between my father’s leadership and my own to take place a few years later and with him by my side to guide me. I had barely internalized my father’s death when I became one of the youngest women to lead any comparable nonprofit organization in the United States.

‘For Such a Time as This’

My father’s shoes were enormous ones to fill, and the task seemed daunting. Yet, I realized during those first days that just as God had prepared Esther for “such a time as this,” He had been preparing me for that very moment.

In retrospect, I could see how God perfectly orchestrated past events and circumstances to prepare me for my position. I drew strength from Esther who doubted her abilities but accepted the role that God had given her — and ultimately succeeded in her mission.

While every person experiences moments of self-doubt in his or her lifetime, we must recognize that whatever challenges God places in front of us are ones that we can overcome. God has a plan, and He gives us our roles. Our job is to play our part as best as we can and leave the rest to Him.

Today, accept your God-given role with confidence and pride. He knows you, and He knows that you can do it.

Your Turn:

Discover the lessons of courage found in the biblical story of Esther, which is celebrated this month in the Jewish observance of Purim. Download a complimentary copy of the chapter on Purim from my new book, Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children.

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