A Modern Day Purim Story
by Hannah, , Tents of Mercy Network

Are we not commanded to tell the ancient stories?

Is not our main text book in life, the Text Book of all text books - containing story after story of ancient people in ancient kingdoms, dealing with ancient challenges?

The answer is yes with a caveat. Yes it is a book of ancient writings, and each and every story tells of human beings who faced and responded to life's challenges in good ways and bad ways, right ways and wrong ways. And it is those stories that God will use to strengthen and refine us (and here is the caveat ... ) as we translate and weave their messages into the fabric of our everyday lives.

For this year's Purim play, our youth reinvented the biblical saga of Esther. Her story, which took place long ago in ancient Persia, was transformed into a compelling modern dramatic Israeli rendition. The book of Esther deals with our identity and making the choice to identify ourselves as following the God of Israel and belonging to Him - while at the same time being fully functioning in and engaging with society. This dynamic is of course totally relevant to teens in their school culture of relentless peer pressure. So, fittingly, the youth translated the story of Esther into a modern scenario in a high school for the arts.

The youth group, comprising some 40 teens led by their fearless and multi-talented leader Andre Gelbet, worked tirelessly for months with extensive rehearsals leading up to Purim - to dream up and then realize a modern day Esther who stands for truth and righteousness. In their version of the story, Esther was hired as the new dance teacher by a king-like Principal Ahasuerus. Sneaky and conniving Vice Principal Haman tried to do away with Mordechai the upright maintenance man, who uncovered Haman's evil plot to get the principal fired and to take over the school.

On both Sunday and Monday night during their Purim vacation, the teenagers and a devoted team of leaders poured out effort and talent to tell the story of Queen Esther in a super fun and relatable way. In the final scene Haman was done away with, and the Jewish People were spared. Righteousness prevailed, and the teens broke into a contagiously victorious celebration! The participants did an excellent job and once again we were all challenged and inspired by the noble example that our beloved Queen Esther gave us all so many millennia ago.

Mordechai and Haman School for the Arts Esther and Ahasuerus

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