Chag Purim Sameach! Purim marks one of the most joyous holidays we celebrate on the Jewish calendar. Whether it’s the children in the costumes, the smell of freshly baked Hamentashen, or the gifting of Purim bags to friends and family, it evokes joy throughout. It also give us an opportunity to celebrate the heroes of the Purim story.

Heroes come in many different forms, as we’ve so quickly learned during the pandemic. The heroes in the Purim story come in the obvious form of Queen Esther and the more subtle form of Queen Vashti. Most notably, Queen Esther is the heroine of the Purim story because she conceals her true identity as a Jew while living as the Queen married to King Achashverosh during a time in which his key advisor Haman is trying to annihilate the Jewish people. She waits until just the right moment to reveal her Jewish identity and successfully pleads with the King to save all the Jews.

Vashti, another heroine in her own right, is more subtle. At the beginning of the Purim story, King Achashverosh asks his first wife Queen Vashti, to dance around and entertain his over-indulged guests at a feast he is throwing. When Vashti is uncomfortable with this request, she stands up for herself and her values and refuses the King. She is banished from the Kingdom and never mentioned in the Purim story again. Her heroism to stand up for what she believes in at the risk of losing everything, is a much smaller plotline in the Purim story, but impactful just the same.

Whether you choose to support the JCC in the obvious ways like Queen Esther or the subtle ways like Queen Vashti, we see you as a hero regardless. We hope you and your family have a wonderful Purim. Thank you so much for the continuous support and kindness you give to our center. We are thankful to have you as a part of our family.
Chag Sameach!