Each year we have a contest at the J: Who is the real Purim hero? Each of us look for heroes, and the story of Esther is filled with possibilities. Gather some friends together and have some take parts, then talk about the many heroes and finally take a vote. We are voting at the J so you can send me your answers and we will add to the numbers!
King Ahasuerus: I am King Ahasuerus. Many people think I’m foolish because I always listen to others to make a decision. I know I wasn’t so nice to ask my Queen Vashti to come dance naked. I especially know it was wrong to listen to Haman and agree to kill all of the Jews, but in the end, I listened to Queen Esther and the Jews were saved. Without me listening to everyone, we wouldn’t have such a great story.
Queen Vashti: I am Queen Vashti. I didn’t have a big part in the Purim story, but I got the story going. I was the first woman in Shushan to stand up to her husband. If I hadn’t set the stage for Esther, she never would have been Queen let alone had the opportunity to save her people, the Jews. Even without all the problems of the Jewish people, I was a hero of a story for all women.
Haman: I am Haman. I know you cannot imagine that I would be a hero, but without me there would be no story. And I’m really a product of my environment. My wife picked on me — no one really liked me — I just needed to feel important. Mordechai and the Jews just got in the way.
Mordechai: I am Mordechai and although I really don’t want to brag, I managed this whole story. I got Esther into the palace, I saved the King’s life, I convinced Esther that it was her great opportunity to save her people, and I took care of all the details for the Jews to fight back and not be killed.
Queen Esther: I’m Queen Esther and everyone knows that I’m the real hero. I was the one who went to the king, accused Haman and then figured out how to save the Jews. So what if I was a little afraid and had to fast for three days — I came through and saved my people.
G-d: Wait a minute … you forgot Me! Just because I’m not mentioned in the story doesn’t mean My presence wasn’t felt or important. The Jews are My people and even when bad things happen, I am always watching out for them.
Get ready for a joyous Purim. Hear the Megillah, give tzedakah, send mishloach manot (gifts of food treats) to friends and PARTY!
Laura Seymour is Jewish experiential learning director and camp director emeritus at the Aaron Family JCC.