The Moment You’ve Been Waiting For

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The Moment You’ve Been Waiting For by Jemima Schoen - Photo by Sonja Lippmann

Esther awoke early that gray morning with a bitter taste in her mouth. She felt herself getting weaker and weaker by the second. Esther had prayed, fasted, and pleaded for so long that her already-pale skin had an otherworldly glow. Esther recalled her last Yom Kippur with her uncle, Mordechai. She felt just like this then, calling out to God like never before, until her lungs could take no more. Praying, fasting, and pleading. She hadn’t known the circumstances she would soon be entrenched in, taxed with saving the Jewish people from genocide, but she did feel a special intensity on that Yom Kippur. Perhaps God had given her this message on her past day of repentance. Now, all these months later, her people were in danger, and only she could stop it. On that fateful Yom Kippur, Esther felt the grief and anguish that would soon come to her people. In those moments of revelation, Esther supplicated to God. She learned to access a different, deeper part of herself that day. This is what I have been preparing for, she whispered to herself.

With the help of her ladies-in-waiting, Esther put on her most beautiful gown and the prized tiara of Shushan, complete with shining rubies and sapphires. She refused to look in the mirror, but if she had, she would have seen a waxen, worried face, adorned with the most luxurious fabrics and jewels that money could buy. She was beautiful, powerful, and most importantly, she knew exactly what she had to do.

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