Seeing the good in the world

Last week a man filled with hate, went into 2 mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and opened fire, he killed 51 people and injured dozens others, their crime was simply being of a religion he did not agree with or understand and of a race he did see as worthy of life. The hate no longer surprises me, I wish it did, I wish it shocked me and made me slump down in tears, but the truth is if I went down that road, I would never get up.

As someone who is Jewish, I am used to having a guard outside my synagogue, it has lost the awe factor for me. I nod to the man or woman outside and that is that. I don’t really think about them after I go inside and that is alarming. The fact that I see that as NORMAL is appalling. Tonight is Purim, and while many of you may know this holiday as the one where stores and bakeries carry the great triangle cookies known as Hamantaschen (Total YUM), the holiday is about how Esther became a Queen and wife to King Ahasuerus.

The story is better than a Novella, there is intrigue, a contest of beauty (Bachelor anyone?), an advisor to the king, Haman, who is a schemer and a complete Anti Semite, a beautiful Jewish girl, Esther, and her cousin, Mordecai, who has raised Esther after she became orphaned. What always strikes me is how braves Esther is in the face of such high stakes, she is competing to be Queen number two, she has to hide her religion, she has to deal with a new husband who is used to getting his way in all things, and she has to deal with the fact that his right hand man wants to kill her and her people.

Why does he want to kill them, because he didn’t like their power and how Mordecai refused to bow to him and show him respect. Basically, he just didn’t like them and he wanted to be powerful beyond all his wildest dreams. Mordecai tells Esther that this is why she is Queen, that her devine place in time is now and she must act. She bravely concocts a plan that involves going to the King, something that carries a death penalty without being summoned, but he doesn’t kill her, he agrees to her plans for a dinner in his honor and ultimately asks her if there is anything she wants. She asks for her life and the life of her people to be spared. Haman and his sons are ultimately killed and the story of Esther ends.

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

So on a day where Jews all over the word celebrate Esther, or as we call her, Hadassah, I mourn the lives cut short because of hate, a tale as old as time. For all the lives lost in Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques. For the lives lost in school shootings, and shootings that happen everyday, in every city around the world because or hate. Hate that is born out of an ideology that because I am __________, I am better than you. As we celebrate in the next few weeks, Rama Navami, Passover, and Easter, get outside your comfort zone and learn about another religion’s holiday. If you are lucky enough to have a neighbor who celebrates differently than you, create a gift basket and include a card wishing them a good holiday. What better way to show your love and defeat hate?!

“O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't!”
― William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Wishing you all a beautiful Spring, may it be full of new beginnings and be a season of joy. -Team SG


Revolutionaryroad's picture

This is very beautifully written. Thank you for reminding everyone of how we should all respect others and their beliefs. May God bless you and your family.

Fleurironfly's picture

Thank you for sharing your beautiful history with us.

p1bird's picture

Very nice...keep up the GREAT work!

limenavy's picture

Beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes.

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