5 things We Can Learn from the story of Purim
It’s no secret that Queen Esther is one of the most influential women in Jewish history. When it comes to Purim, it can be easy to forget the immense hardship and adversity that Esther and the Jewish people overcame and focus only on the fun and costumes.
Purim is actually a holiday that teaches us many valuable lessons about who we are as a people and how we can go forth and overcome the adversities in our own lives.
Here are five things that we can learn from Queen Esther:
One Person Can Make a Monumental Difference
In case you’re a little rusty on the story of Purim, the quick version goes like this:
Achashverosh, the king of Persia, asked for his wife Vashti to show off her beauty one evening for all his guests. When she refused, the King killed her and brought the most beautiful women in the kingdom together at his palace to find a replacement. Esther was chosen to be the next queen. Unbeknownst to King Achashverosh, Queen Esther was Jewish. Esther’s uncle Mordechai discovered that a man named Haman was plotting to kill the Jews of Persia. He then plotted with Esther to eventually save them and have Haman hanged. Esther found favour with the king, and with the help of the Jews in her community, saved an entire nation.
When we are faced with challenges that seem out of our reach, most of us ask, what difference could one person possibly make? Well, if you look at the story of Purim, we see that Esther, as a single individual, did a whole lot.
Believe in the Impossible
One of the defining moments in the story of Esther is when she goes to see the king without being summoned. Everyone told her that this was a surefire way to meet her death, and many of them warned her about how the king treated Vashti. But Esther prayed and fasted and did what nobody thought she could do: she found favour with the king. When faced with enormous adversity, sometimes all that’s needed is quiet reflection and the belief that things can be achieved.
Trust the Process
Sometimes things are put in our path that we don’t understand or don’t want. Esther was unwavering in her faith, showing us that if we trust in ourselves and believe that things happen for a higher reason, we can achieve great things.
The Importance of Community
One of the main reasons that Haman believed that he could annihilate the Jews is because they were divided. In the megillah Haman states that “the Jews are dispersed and disunited.” In response, Esther implored the Jews of Persia to rally around her. Had the Jews of Persia not rallied together and supported Esther as a community, Haman may have succeeded, and then you wouldn’t be reading this very educational article ;).
Believe in the Good
Remember that part in the megillah where the king signs off on the destruction of the Jews? Esther believed that the king would change his mind once he knew the truth, never once considering that he too wanted the destruction of the Jews. When she went to see him, the megillah says she “found favour” with the king. In many instances in life, the way in which we approach a situation matters more than what we actually do. Going forth believing in the good can actually change the outcome of a situation, just like Esther changed the fate of the Jewish people.
How do you approach solving problems in your life? Do you believe that things happen for a reason and that ultimately good will prevail? Let us know in the comments below!