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Every single one of us will have a Queen Esther moment: D’var Torah for Purim.

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Every single one of us at some time or other, will have a Queen Esther moment.

What do I mean by that? In the Megillah narrative, which we are all so familiar with, we read how Mordechai sent a message to Esther, ‘umi yodea’ im-le’et kazot higga’at lammalchut’ – ‘who knows, it is probably for this very moment, that you became Queen’.

There are occasions where one might be in a particular place at a particular time, with the potential to do something special and everything will depend on how one responds at that moment.

There are so many turning points in the Megillah story. Perhaps the most significant of all comes at the beginning of Chapter three of the Megillah, ‘Achar haddevarim ha’elleh giddal hammelech achashverosh et-haman’ – After these things, King Achashverosh elevated Haman to a position of power in Persia.

‘Achar’ – after these developments, what was the response going to be? From ‘achar’ we have the word ‘achrayut’ – ‘responsibility’, in the same way as in English, a response needs to be responsible.

Esther responded in her time, with the utmost responsibility.

This week I visited Israel in order to attend a very sad Shiva for Captain Daniel Perez z”l. He was certainly a person who found himself unexpectedly, facing a Queen Esther moment.

On the 7th of October, together with the rest of his tank crew, he was on the border with Gaza where a surreal sight lay before them. Hundreds of terrorists pouring over the border with the intention to kill, to maim, to inflict terror and to abduct as many as possible.

He responded at that moment instinctively, with extraordinary bravery, saving the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of Israelis.

In that Shiva house, amidst hundreds of people, I saw so much warmth, selflessness and altruism – incredible Chesed. And surely, that must be the antidote to the forces of evil and wickedness, which confront us.

On the festival of Purim, we engage in two primary acts. First of all, we recall the attempts to annihilate the Jewish people, reminding us of our responsibility to defend ourselves adequately.

And in addition, we engage in acts of Chesed, loving kindness, giving parcels of food to as many people as possible, giving charity to the poor in order to ensure that ultimately, good will prevail over evil and light will fill a world of darkness.

At this time when we extend our condolences to the extraordinary Perez family, Rav Doron, Shelley and their entire Mishpacha, let us guarantee that all of us, at our Esther moments in life, just like Daniel, will respond with the utmost responsibility.

I wish you all a Shabbat Shalom and Purim Sameach.

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