A Joyful Day – A Serious Message

A Joyful Day – A Serious Message

Credit:(Photo: Olivier Fitoussi)

Dear Friend of Israel,

While Christians are familiar with the biblical story of Esther, a lot are unfamiliar with the Jewish holiday celebrating its happy outcome. That holiday is Purim, perhaps the most festive on the Jewish calendar.

Purim recalls the deliverance of the Jewish people from their enemies nearly 2,400 years ago. The king of Persia (modern-day Iran) chose a beautiful young woman named Esther to be his queen, unaware that she was Jewish. Esther heard from Mordecai, her uncle, that the king had entrusted the fate of Persian Jews to Haman, the King’s top adviser. Haman hated the Jews, and issued an order to kill them all.

At great risk to her own life, Esther revealed to the king that she was Jewish and pleaded with him to save her people. He agreed to do so, and, in a fitting twist, handed down to the evil Haman the death sentence Haman himself had planned to give the Jews.

Esther’s bravery and obedience to God – her willingness to put her own life on the line to save her people – teaches us a valuable lesson about self-sacrifice and purpose that is as true and meaningful today as it was thousands of years ago.

It’s critical for us to heed this lesson, because Haman is more than just a historical figure. We recognize Haman in terrorist leaders who call for Israel’s destruction. We feel his presence when we hear about terrorist attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions – as well as on Christians – around the world. We hear him in the rising tide of anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S.

Thus, while Purim is a festive occasion, and the day abounds with carnival-like celebrations, it carries a serious message: In a world with no shortage of “Hamans,” we need more “Esthers” committed to bravely defending God’s people in the face of hatred. I thank you, my friend, for being one of those “Esthers” through your support of The Fellowship‘s lifesaving work.

This Purim let us celebrate the shalom, peace, God restored to the Persian Jews through Esther in biblical times – and let us continue to pray for shalom to fill the whole world.


Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

We have many in-depth educational resources on our website that will teach you more about this festive Jewish holiday. Visit today!


More From Rabbi's Commentary

Rabbi's Commentary

A Country with a Big Heart

While the world so often focuses on Israel's faults — be they real or imagined — the true heritage of the Jewish state and her people is one of peace, freedom, and helping those in need.

Rabbi's Commentary

We Remember, We Act

As we remember the terrible legacy of the Holocaust, we act to create a legacy of hope that provides Holocaust survivors in Israel and the former Soviet Union with a measure of peace and comfort in their twilight years.

Rabbi's Commentary

Creating a Just World

As the U.S. observes Martin Luther King Day, let us remember that, as Jews and Christians, we must reject hatred, speak out against injustice, and be united by the shared tenets of our faiths.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.