Remembering each and every person who was lost, may their memory be a blessing.
Dedicated by Mina and Suzanne Goodman

Day 40

Esther – A Study in Bravery

Dedicated by the Spanish and Portuguese Community, London

God is surprisingly not mentioned in the Book of Esther. Instead of imposing Himself through prophet or miracle in the story, He runs the world under cover, and guides it towards completion through natural events. This lack of overt intervention by God creates the space that allows human input to take centre stage. In the Book of Esther, God’s interaction with the people reaches a state of maturity and is an example of how the relationship between God and Israel should be. Maimonides writes that there will come a day when all the books of the Bible will become obsolete, except for the Book of Esther, which will remain eternally relevant to the Jewish people.1 From our perspective, this mode of divine interaction can seem to run without rhyme or reason. The world looks as if it has no direction and meaning. Uncertainty develops, and it disturbs us. However, uncertainty also brings us precious gifts: freedom and opportunity for self-achievement come about when life lies before us, undetermined.


Rabbi Joseph Dweck

Rabbi Joseph Dweck is Senior Rabbi to the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation of London, England.

Fact of the Day

Day 40 – The Germans came, the police, and they started banging houses: “Raus, raus, raus, Juden raus.” … One baby started to cry … The other baby started crying. So the mother urinated in her hand and gave the baby a drink to keep quiet … When the police had gone, I told the mothers to come out. And one baby was dead … from fear, the mother [had] choked her own baby.

—Abraham Malik, describing his experience in the Kovno Ghetto

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Today's Video

Leo Weitzman, child survivor, describes a Purim play at his DP camp, for which his father wrote music.

70 Days for 70 Years is a project of The United Synagogue