I was recently sent a cute “Countdown to Passover” ticker, reminding me that Passover is only 63 days away. And while I almost had a conniption about this (How will I ever pull it together by then?), I remembered that we first get to celebrate the more joyous and upbeat holiday of Purim.
I have always felt a connection to Purim because I am so interested in the many themes of the story of Queen Esther, the biblical heroine for whom I was named. The name Esther is a Persian name, derived from the word ishtar (star), but there is another meaning to the name in Hebrew, which is “hidden.” One of the themes of the story of Purim is how G-d is hidden in everything, and often sends us the “remedy before the plague.” In the story of Purim, He placed Esther, the ultimate heroine, in the palace of the king before the decree to kill all the Jews was made. Once the evil Haman had suggested the murder of the Jewish people, Esther had already earned her keep in the palace and was able to convince her husband to stop this decree from moving forward. By placing Esther in the good graces of the king early on, G-d had performed a miracle for us, regardless of whether the Jews of the time were aware of it.