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Who is a Queen Esther today?


Queen Esther was the ultimate diplomat and leader.


She didn’t think about her position. She was ready to be killed. After all, one who came to the king unannounced was liable to die! But she didn’t hesitate. She had no thoughts about her career trajectory or her spotlight of fame. She lived and breathed the awesome responsibility of representing the Jewish nation.


Selflessness is the noble trait of leadership. Complete dedication to serving the people, not oneself.


Being in a position of influence, we often get carried away with the feeling of influence and forget about our mission.


It feels good rubbing shoulders with powerful people. It feels good sitting in the seat of honor. That feeling can blind us. It can hold us back from honestly representing our mission.


Moshe stood up for his people. He told G-d I don’t care if you seek to make me great. I don’t care if my descendants will be made into the greatest nation on earth. I represent the Jewish nation, and it is them who I plead for. When G-d heard this, he responded: this is what I was waiting to hear. Selflessness is the trait of a true leader.


We are leaders. We all have our areas of influence. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our bubble, see the headlines with our names, and feel good.


The story of Purim shook the Jews of Persia to the core. They thought that they had made it. They were at the epicenter of society. They had connections in the king’s court. They were invested in Persian culture. I’m sure all of the hospitals and universities had Jewish names on them back then. But Purim happened. And the Jewish people realized that they needed to invest in their own.


We are facing our very own Purim moment now! We have grown so accustomed to American culture and feel like we’ve melted in. Now, we are having our watershed moment.


Jewish donors are taking their names off of universities. They realize that the so-called prestige and status we have all become accustomed to have blown up in our faces. It’s not status; it’s an embarrassment.


We need to do a wholesale realignment of values. Our first and foremost priority is to make sure Jews can live as Jews. Philanthropists are now shifting their focus to investing in Jewish education!


This Purim will be remembered as the period when American Jewry woke up like a lion!


Shabbat Shalom


Rabbi Mendy