Esther noset chen
(Megillat Esther, 2.15)
by Rav David Moriah, who was Esther’s
Esther, we stood today at the site of the murder. We prayed and said the dreadful psalm 94:
G-d of vengeance, Hashem,
Esther, I apologize for speaking to you in the presence of so many people. I know how your modest and introverted character would have hated someone speaking about you, especially with such a crowd. But it is because of your quiet personality and because you always fled from the shine of the floodlights, that many people are not understanding the size of the tragedy, and how enormous the loss is. I had the tremendous zchut to be your high school teacher for a year. It’s not so much time, but it was enough to realize your qualities.
I once announced in class that the sh’at mechanech would be used to make up some material that we didn’t finish. The class decided not to give away the period. When I got to the class I found it empty (everyone went somewhere else and one of the girls gave a pe’ula). I went back to the teacher’s room.
next day I found an anonymous letter that later I found out was from
You were always so sensitive to what others feel, and G-d forbid not to hurt them. You were so good that I don’t believe there is one friend of yours here that came to escort you to your final resting place that would say you hurt them. You were such a good friend to the girls in the class who were socially weaker.
I remember we spoke about a shlichut you went to, and as someone returning from a shlichut I identified with your descriptions.
Esther, today we know that all of your short life was a mission. This was apparent in all your deeds, and every time you made a peula for your chanichot in Ezra. You volunteered for a whole year with an autistic boy. When I asked you to sum up that work, you said it in one word: ‘Fun.’ Your fun was to give.
Everyone who knows you realizes how much effort and devotion you invested in sherut leumi. You never lost hope and you never gave up. How desperately we need that quality of yours today.
I so badly want to promise you that we did everything we can to prevent this murder, but I can’t. Yesterday after the murder of Gilad Zar we decided to block the road as a furious reaction to the murder. We discussed whether to do it in the early afternoon with anyone who could make it, or to delay it to 16:30 and try to get more people. In the end, we decided to do it in the late afternoon, but for you it was already too late. The road was blocked because of your murder.
What a pity it is that we are so thoughtful and we don’t have any spontaneous fury or a basic understanding of our right for security. I am sure that the only thing that is bothering you now is not your short life, since you took advantage of every moment. I’m sure you’re crying up there, Esther, but not for yourself. Your life was so concentrated, and you utilized every second to do lots of good. You are crying for your parents and your brother – they truly did not deserve this.
You are hurting for your parents who lost this treasure that is called Esther. This is no consolation, but you, Esther, are the terrible price that we must pay for our blindness. What we need is surgery for the removal of blindness.
Your death shouts Esther’s call to Mordechai “Go, assemble all the Jews.” Unite, open your eyes! Do not continue being scattered and divided, or being busy with your own feasts. Open your eyes before you reach the bottomless pit, before the floor collapses on us. If we wake up and open our eyes before it is too late, then your painful death will prevent many others.
Esther knew how cruel the enemy is and understood that we were “decreed to destroy, to slay and to exterminate,” and gave her soul “And if I perish, I perish… for how can I bear to witness the disaster which will befall my people? How can I bear to witness the destruction of my homeland?”
“On the third day, Esther donned royalty” – you wear with majesty the dress that is stained with blood, and fearlessly presented yourself to the King of the World who cannot refuse your request.
Esther, I remember the song that we sang on Yom Hazikaron in Efrat, and which we heard in our heads a lot:
are all one living tissue,