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Purim, Grab Life by the Horns

Purim and it's connection to residential therapeutic centers




In the story of Purim, after Esther is chosen to be the new queen of Persia, her worst fears come true: Haman decrees that all Jews will be killed. Despite the fact that her husband, King Achashverosh hasn't summoned her in a while, Mordechai demands that she go unannounced to the king, tell him she's Jewish and ask him to reverse the decree in order to save the Jewish people. To add a little more pressure, Mordechai says to her:

“כִּ֣י אִם־הַחֲרֵ֣שׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי֮ בָּעֵ֣ת הַזֹּאת֒ רֶ֣וַח וְהַצָּלָ֞ה יַעֲמ֤וֹד לַיְּהוּדִים֙ מִמָּק֣וֹם אַחֵ֔ר וְאַ֥תְּ וּבֵית־אָבִ֖יךְ תֹּאבֵ֑דוּ וּמִ֣י יוֹדֵ֔עַ אִם־לְעֵ֣ת כָּזֹ֔את הִגַּ֖עַתְּ לַמַּלְכֽוּת
On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to royal position for just such a crisis.”


The pressure grows


"Grab life by the horns," is a phrase made famous by Dodge Ram truck commercials. Essentially, Mordechai is telling Esther, you were put in this place as a pawn of the King of Kings and it's check mate. You need to grab life by the horns, do what you need to do to save the Jewish people.


Esther's response was, "I need everyone's help. I need to know that everyone is on my side, standing behind me." So the Jewish people fasted and prayed. Only then does she approach Achashverosh, despite not being called upon. She is accepted with open arms and granted anything she wants.


This story portrays an important lesson in how to ensure a successful progression through a therapeutic program.

First there is a pressure to act, something that forces a parent or child to make the call and admit there is an issue. Second, the buy in from the individual, that this is the right placement and treatment for me. Third is the unwavering support from family and friends. Finally, is the reintegration, how the individual reinserts himself into his family and communal life.


The Purim story is not only about the Jewish people's salvation and willingly accepting the Torah. It is a very individualized story that can be internalized by each person and adapted to their predicament.


May this Purim bring salvation to the Jewish people and to everyone who is struggling with their next move of their own chess match.

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