A timeless verse from the Book of Esther continually challenges us to step up when we are called upon to take action.

I purposely only quoted half the verse above from the book of Esther. Often when I speak with groups about the Book of Esther I quote the above half-verse and ask them to guess what the rest of the verse is.

Of course you need to know the background first. The wicked Haman has plotted to exterminate the Jewish people and Mordechai, the leader of the Jews, gets wind of this. What? Did I quote that correctly? Most people assume that the verse should say “If you are quiet at this time, we are doomed! You are our only hope! Now go and talk to the king!” But it doesn’t. Mordechai knows that the G-d of Israel will not let the Jewish people be exterminated. The only question he had was what was going to be the means and method of G-d’s deliverance. Esther was thrust onto the stage of history with the spotlight shining brightly upon her. Would she sing her lines or would she run off the stage? Would she play the role of G-d’s messenger or merely consider herself the queen of Persia? This is the choice she had to make. She made the right one and that is why we all know who Queen Esther is. Had she chosen to remain silent someone else would have been the conduit to save the Jewish people and none of us would have ever heard of her. She would have been a historical blip. In our generation at this very moment Israel is facing another Haman also from Persia, which is the modern-day Iran. Everyone is reporting the existential threat to Israel posed by the possibility of a nuclear Iran. Iran’s leaders threaten to wipe Israel off the map. To me the question today is the same one that Mordechai asked Esther. Will you choose to be silent today? Will you sit quietly when the people of Israel, the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are in danger? Or will you step onto the stage of history and grab the lead role and serve as G-d’s messenger? What will you tell your grandchildren? weiter