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Dvar Torah Tetzaveh and Purim

Purim this year comes at an opportune time.

In fact, it seems to be almost responding to the current events we read about in the newspaper.

So many of the problems facing the world today, and in particular our political system,

can be traced to what almost amounts to a societal abandonment of the truth.

As so many have remarked, our culture now seems to be "post-truth".

This might also characterise the culture of the Jews in the time of the Purim miracle.

The Megillah begins with a lie. The Jews of the capital city attend Achashverosh's party

to celebrate the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple.

They participate in the festivities and never once hint at the anguish it must have caused them.

Later, Achashverosh marries Esther, not understanding that this was not her name, not understanding who she was.

The deception was deliberate.

Mordechai and Esther decided that she would not reveal her nation or her homeland.

When danger threatened, at first Esther felt trapped in her lie.

However, with Mordechai's help, she decided to tell the truth about her identity.

As Mordechai explained:

"If you stay silent at this time, salvation and redemption will come to the

Jews from another place, and you and your father's house will be destroyed."

The solution to the Jews' problems was (paradoxically) for Esther to end her silence, to speak up.

In our world, this remains the solution to our problems.

It is hard to tell the truth to power, to take it on ourselves to tell others the

difficult thing they do not want to hear.

However, the path to restoration and redemption in our world remains to

speak the truth, even when difficult.

In the end, this will be better not just for those around us but for ourselves as well.

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