(Sam Nadler) The Feast of Purim is a Jewish holiday found in the book of Esther that celebrates God’s deliverance of His people from destruction. Purim is recognized each year in Jewish communities around the world (this year on March 24) with various services, get-togethers and activities. Esther and her cousin, Mordecai, are the heroes, but earlier in their lives, we find that they, like us, had some rather weak moments.

In the biblical account, Esther becomes the Queen of Persia, but she repeatedly hides her Jewish identity: “Esther did not make known her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had instructed her that she should not make them known” (Esther 2:10, 20). Presumably, Esther lied about her Jewish background by not disclosing the truth in the Babylonian palace. In God’s eyes, not telling the truth is just plain sin (Lev. 5:1).

Why would Mordecai tell Esther not to reveal her Jewish identity? Scripture tells us that God had called His people to return from exile in Babylon to their homeland of Israel. Those who heeded God’s call left Babylon. However, those that remained in Babylon were not identifying with the call of God and, therefore, did not identify themselves as the people of God. READ MORE