Scripture has, and always will be a source of malleable symbolism, offering motivation in the most unlikely of places. As Rabbi Malkah Binah Klein thumbed through the story of Queen Esther, he couldn't help but notice representations of our current climate concerns.
Using the Story of Queen Esther as a springboard, Rabbi Klein has organized Purim to Pesach: Fasting with Queen Esther for Divine Mercy and Courage, a movement to encourage a night of fasting on the Eve of Purim (March 4). Much like this year's Carbon Fast for Lent, the event is intended to raise awareness about our current climate situation, while simultaneously seeking spiritual guidance on one of the world's most pressing moral issue.
By Rabbi Malkah Binah Klein for The Shalom Center
[Dear friends, From Purim till Pesach this year, we are sending you a daily comment on the meaning of Pesach, especially in connection with concern for the Earth and the climate crisis — each day by a different writer. Enjoy! — David Eber & AW, eds.]
The book of Esther is famously one of only two books in the Jewish Bible within which God’s name is not mentioned. God’s absence is felt from the beginning of the book as we are introduced to King Ahasuerus, who rules over the vast territory from India to Ethiopia, and whose leadership style includes holding a banquet for his nobles and governors for more than one hundred and eighty days, in order to display the vast riches of the empire and to elevate his own glory. Royal wine flows into golden beakers with abandon.