Are we not commanded to tell the
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