Posts Tagged ‘Justice’

Modern Day Esthers, Revisited

February 23, 2010

Last year, I posted an email I sent to OWU Hillel encouraging discussion of modern day Esthers.  Who are the women standing up to injustices in our world today?  Who are the women risking their reputations and even their lives to right the wrongs?  Preparing to write about Purim this year, I typed “Modern Day Esther” into my Google search bar.  Before you read on, try it.


Jan Lievens, The Feast of Esther, circa 1625–26, oil on canvas, 53 x 65 in., North Carolina Museum of Art

Surprised by what you found?  I was.  Somehow, I completely missed the Sarah Palin-Esther connection.  Beauty queen turned relgiously-motivated political leader.  Enough said, right?  I guess I never did this search last year since all the links are pretty much old news…

K. Bonami

The New York Times wrote about the connection shortly after Palin hit the national scene.  Apparently, after taking office as Governor of Alaska, Palin consulted her childhood pastor for advice.  “’She asked for a biblical example of people who were great leaders and what was the secret of their leadership,’ Mr. Riley said.”   The Times reported that Riley recommended she consult the story of Queen Esther.  As the picture above suggests, she took his advice.  Though some might argue the causes she champions.

So, before I go off on a political rant that would not necessarily become my role as Chaplain, I’ll let you all consider who might challenge Palin in the Battle of the Esthers?  Who are the Modern Day Esthers that inspire you?  Post your nominations as comments and let the Purim carnival games begin!


Celebrating Modern Day Esthers

March 6, 2009

Hello Everyone,

While we will not be together for Purim which falls on March 10th this year, I want to wish you all a Hag Sameach (Happy Holiday) and give you something to think about and, perhaps, bring home to your families.

While most of us fondly, and easily, recall Purim costume parties and carnivals, we may not be as familiar with the fast that leads up to the fun.  Ta’anit Esther, or The Fast of Esther, is sometimes referred to as The Jewish Day for Justice because the story of Esther inspires us “to be mindful of what we must do and empower ourselves to make change in the world.”

Before we head off to Megillah readings and feasts of Hamantaschen, I hope we might take a moment to exchange some e-thoughts on Modern Day Esthers, “Women who speak out because they know it is the right thing to do; who identify suffering and bring it to the public eye; who commit to awareness and education.”  Folks like, playright Eve Ensler, EcoFeminist Vandana Shiva, Washington, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, and Oprah.

Please “Reply All” with your honorarium (a paragraph and photo or a link to an article) of sheroes who are making a difference in the world today – at OWU, across the United States, and around the world.

Shavuah Tov,