“Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16
Going Before The King
As we launch Gather The Jews, it is serendipitous that the focus of our Mission and the name on our website is found in the portion of Jewish writings that are being celebrated this very weekend in the Megillah Esther. Rabbis have suggested that each week’s Torah portion reflects an existing energy that parallels the story being told during that week. I personally remember reflecting upon the Parsha of Achari Moot (After The Death of Aarons two children) as my family was burdened to undertake the beginning of a loss in our lives. I am certainly one to accept the criticism that it is easy to read and interpret into materials what you need to see. Even if so, this holds true today.
At this moment, I sense that there is a great need for us to unite. There is such a great diversity, strength, and collection of resources that exist within our Jewish community. But I challenge you by asking, “Are we united?” What I have witnessed thus far in DC over the past 2.5 years is that there exists pockets of communities that thrive within the urban jungle gym we know and love.
However, are we too insular, too isolated, and too ignorant of all the others? Have we become so comfortable in our cliques that we don’t even seek out others?
We at Gather The Jews are seeking to help remedy this dilemma. We wanted to provide you with a one-stop shop that presents to you all the formal opportunities that are being organized and created just for you! However, this is where I go and emphasize the need for our collective and informal unity.
The Story of Esther Teaches us that the power of unity is profound, and has the ability to mark unprecedented changes and victories against law and its formalities. Through the collective powers of the Jews fasting, they we’re able to affect the success of Esther’s approach to the king unannounced. The law stated that any one who approached the King unannounced would perish, UNLESS he tilted his scepter and acquiesced through his grace.
Rabbis have continued to agree that through the Jewish communities unity, they were to affect Esther’s outcome, which would ultimately affect their own.
This teaches us a profound lesson as we grow and gather together this Purim and beyond, that we possess great power to change the tides of law, the course of oceans, and lives of one another. Hopefully, as we unite we will grow comforted to know that what unites is positive and profound, unlike the plans that inspired the surge of community during the times of Esther.
So let us gather together tonight, tomorrow, and beyond because we never if we will need to change the stars together again.
Be in peace.