Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Belief and Responsibility

On Purim we read the Book of Esther. There's a program to kill all the Jews of the Persian Empire, backed by the emperor himself. Mordechai is trying to thwart the plan with a counter plan of his own, based on the position of his cousin and adopted daughter, Esther, the queen. Esther hesitates, given the mortal danger she'll need to put herself into. To which Mordechai responds (Chapter 4, 13-14):
13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
It's an interesting statement. The world's greatest power has decided to murder the Jews, but Mordechai is supremely confident they won't be destroyed; this confidence, however, doesn't prevent him from taking any measure to thwart the program, no matter how high the personal danger.

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