Purim – The Power of Faith & Action

In the joyous celebration of Purim, we remember the story of deliverance recounted in the Book of Esther—a tale of courage, divine intervention, and the power of a united community. This festival commemorates a pivotal moment in Jewish history and encourages us to reflect on the values of bravery, solidarity, and generosity in our lives today.

Purim Fast of Esther

What is Purim?

Purim is a festive Jewish holiday commemorating the Jewish people’s salvation in ancient Persia, as recorded in the Book of Esther. This celebration embodies the spirit of community, charity, and faith in the face of adversity through joy, feasting, and giving gifts to one another and the less fortunate. Through the story of Esther, we find profound lessons on courage, faith, and the importance of standing up for what is right—themes that resonate deeply with Reach Initiative International’s mission.

The Story of Purim: Courage and Divine Providence

The Book of Esther tells the story of a young Jewish woman who becomes queen of Persia and bravely prevents a massacre of her people. Esther, chosen for her beauty and grace, finds herself in a position of power, unaware of the plans of Haman, a high official who seeks to destroy the Jews out of spite for Mordecai, Esther’s cousin/guardian, who refuses to bow to him.

In Esther 4:14, Mordecai sends a message to Esther urging her to intercede with the king on behalf of her people. He says, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” 

Purim: The Power of Faith and Action

Aware of the risks, including the law that anyone who approached the king uninvited could be put to death, Esther calls for a fast among her people, seeking divine assistance for the daunting task ahead. In Esther 4:16, she resolves, “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” 

Celebration of Deliverance: Purim

The story culminates in Esther’s successful appeal to the king, Haman’s downfall, and the issuance of a new decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves against their enemies. The days following their victory were declared days of feasting and joy, a tradition that continues to this day in the celebration of Purim. The holiday is marked by the reading of the Megillah (the Book of Esther), the giving of mishloach manot (gifts of food and drink), and charity to the poor.

Purim’s message of courage, faith, and divine intervention aligns with our ministry’s mission to serve and speak up for those in need. Like Esther, we are called to stand up for justice and to protect the vulnerable, trusting in Yeshua’s guidance and provision.

Belarus: Echoes of Esther’s Courage

In Belarus, RII’s efforts to build spiritual communities and support Holocaust survivors resonate with Esther’s bravery and Mordecai’s wisdom. Just as Esther used her position to save her people, RII focuses on nurturing faith and providing care to those who have endured great suffering. This includes offering support to orphans, children battling cancer, and underprivileged youth, mirroring the Purim tradition of advocating for the vulnerable. Camp Chalutzim is a testament to RII’s dedication, where hundreds of children and teens find a place to meet Yeshua, fostering a new generation of faith and resilience.

India: The Warmth of Hospitality

In India, RII’s emphasis on hospitality as a form of love reflects the Purim value of community celebration and unity. Creating spaces for young people to gather, learn, and find fellowship embodies the spirit of mishloach manot, where gifts of food and drink are shared to strengthen bonds and ensure no one is left behind. This initiative showcases how the warmth of community can foster spiritual growth and peace, echoing the joyous feasts of Purim.

Israel: Honoring IDF Soldiers

Reach Initiative International (RII) expresses its respect and appreciation for the sacrifices of IDF soldiers through the “Keeping Soldiers Warm” initiative by adopting units and delivering warm clothing and gear, especially to those stationed in harsh conditions on Mount Hermon. This act of support and kindness is a modern-day manifestation of the Purim spirit, honoring the bravery and dedication of these young men and women who protect their country. It is a heartfelt tribute to their commitment, ensuring they feel the warmth of global solidarity during the cold winter months.

Israel: Supporting Holocaust Survivors

RII also cherishes its deep connection with Holocaust survivors, embodying the essence of Purim by remembering and supporting those who have endured one of history’s darkest periods. Through regular visits and “Warm House” events filled with joy, activities, and fellowship, RII extends beyond mere assistance, forming bonds like family. This commitment to Holocaust survivors highlights the importance of preserving memory and caring for those who carry the weight of unimaginable trials. It’s a poignant reminder of our duty to honor the past while ensuring dignity and comfort for survivors, much like the collective memory and gratitude celebrated during Purim.

Ukraine: Responding to Crisis with Compassion

The response to the crisis in Ukraine epitomizes the Purim call to action in times of need. RII’s quick mobilization to deliver aid to communities affected by conflict mirrors the collective action of the Jewish people in Persia, ready to defend themselves and support each other. This initiative highlights RII’s core mission to serve humanity compassionately, showcasing its readiness to help wherever and whenever needed, just as Esther and her people were prepared to act for their survival.

Purim and Our Ministry

Our ministry takes inspiration from Esther’s bravery and Mordecai’s wisdom, reminding us that we, too, may be placed in our current circumstances “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). This perspective encourages us to look for opportunities to make a difference in our communities, advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves and providing support where it is most needed.

Through the story of Esther, we are inspired to stand firm in our convictions, to seek Yeshua’s guidance in our lives, and to extend our hands in service to others, embodying the love and generosity that define this joyous holiday.

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