I Love When Purim and International Women’s Month Collide

History is full of brave and badass women who did not shy away from speaking up when it counted. Unfortunately, most of their stories have either been reduced to the footnotes or lost entirely to the sands of time.

On this very short list of females whose names and narratives that we know is Queen Esther. During the Jewish holiday of Purim (which started last night and ended tonight), we remember her because she saved the Jews of Persia from the antisemitic pogrom that was being planned by Haman.

Being that March is International Women’s Month, I can’t think of a better reason to celebrate the legacy of Queen Esther. It took courage and a belief in knowing that she was doing the right thing, even when she knew that her life could be forfeit.

It is for this reason that she is remembered, revered, and respected to this day.

P.S. The newest Maccabeats video (We Don’t Talk About Haman) is out and it is brilliant.

Thoughts on Yom Kippur 2021

If there is one thing we all take for granted, it is life itself. Then we are reminded how quickly we can go.

Tomorrow night is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Jews around the world will fast for 25 hours and pray that our creator writes us in the book of life for another year.

Between the more than 600,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19 and the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this past weekend, the reminder that life is precious has been more than obvious.

One of the most important prayers is called U’Netaneh Tokef. One of the passages in the prayer is as follows:

On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.

Yesterday, death came close to home. To say that I am grieving and shocked is an understatement. A friend passed away. I haven’t seen her since before the pandemic and have only spoken to her once since last Spring. Now I wish I had stayed in touch. We need to tell the ones we love how we feel when they are here, not when they are gone.

Z”L my friend. RIP.

To everyone fasting, have an easy fast and may you be written into the book of life for another year.

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