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Esther, Mordecai and the Challenges of Exile

Each year, Jews all over the world celebrate the holiday of Purim. They celebrate the miracle of salvation as described in the Book of Esther, with special prayers in the synagogue, public readings of Esther, festive meals, gifts of sweet food packages to neighbors and friends and charity to the poor.  There is a spirit of frolic on this unique holiday as adults and children and alike dress in costume, wave noisemakers and toast each other and the community in song and drink.

But there is a more serious element to the holiday as well – reading and studying the Book of Esther.  Join Sondra Oster Baras as she takes us through the Book of Esther and helps us uncover the underlying meanings and ramifications of this wonderful Biblical story to Jewish history and to our lives today.

On Purim, Jews give charity to needy families, helping them join in the festive celebrations and providing vital support for their everyday needs.  The source of this custom is in the Book of Esther itself:  “They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor.”  (Esther 9:22)  This Purim, you too can join the Jewish people in this wonderful custom and provide gifts to the poor of Judea and Samaria.

Watch the recorded Zoom call with Shmuel Junger from Tuesday Feb 16 as Shmuel teaches about the Book of Esther.

4 thoughts on “Esther, Mordecai and the Challenges of Exile”

  1. Good day Sondra

    Just to say that I have just concluded listening to your YouTube presentation on ‘Esther and the Purim Story’ and I very much enjoyed your summary and conclusions of the book of Esther. I was also enlightened by how you linked to the book of Ezra, a book that I have never read, mainly because some books are easier to read than others.

    What you said in the final sentences was a masterpiece; i.e., how you contrasted the fact that G-d is not mentioned in the book of Esther and that we may not see G-d, but he is very much always there. To G-d be all the glory.

    I do confess that I have a relationship with G-d and was blessed by your sermon.



  2. Good to hear again from you Queen Esther is similar to Jesus in several ways she in submission dependence and obedience to his god given authorities Modecai and king ahasueruos even as the Lord Jesus during his earthly ministry He lived in total submission dependence and obedience to His Father God Esther fasted for his people and Jesus intercede to God on behalf of Hebrews Matt 4;6 Either, esther gave up life for his people and Jesus offered his life to his people world for sinners for internal death. In tanznaia we believe corana cannot be remove by our own strength but by the spirit say the Lord. I know not how i ca invite you to come to ignite and encourage us here in tanzania to pray for israel as lockdown has never been lfted up i pray for you

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