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Categories: Parsha, Vayikra, Vayikra

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I’m going to deviate a bit from this week’s Parsha (Vayikra) to talk about Purim. Especially since the Fast of Esther was yesterday and we’re all in the Purim spirit. To give a quick refresher on the story: Achashverosh was the King of Persia who had his wife killed and replaced her with a clandestine Jewish woman named Esther. Esther was close with her cousin Mordechai (Same name as me—Fun fact!) who was the leader of the Jewish people in those days. Haman was an advisor to the king who recommended that the Jewish people be destroyed; the king agreed and issued a decree to that effect. The Jewish people were devastated. They fasted and prayed until Esther approached the king (long story short!) and revealed her identity as a Jewish woman and how Haman sought to destroy her and her people. The king had a change of heart and allowed the Jewish people to defend themselves from anyone seeking to destroy them. He also ordered Haman to death. Esther became a proud Jewish woman in the palace and Mordechai became essentially the indisputable advisor to the king.
As Disney would say, “and they all lived happily ever after.” However, we find something strange at the end of this “whole Megillah.” The Megillah concludes with “and Mordechai was revered by most of his colleagues…” Wait. What? Most? He orchestrated this whole “Turnabout,” was the leader in his day, and that’s his reward? A 51% approval rating!? Yes, it may have been more but can’t we give him more credit than that?
Sorry folks, but that’s life. We may be doing tremendous things, we may be changing lives and changing the world and feel like we deserve all the credit in it. And yet, not everyone is going to be happy with what we do. Do anything and some people will find fault. In Mordechai’s case, some of his colleagues felt he became too worldly and should have occupied himself more with the study of Torah, but so it goes. We need to realize that regardless of the good we do, we cannot please everyone. We learn from Mordechai that we are better off trying to do the right thing than trying to win the popularity contest. Good Shabbos!

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