The most joyous feastival in Judaism is Purim. The day set aside to celebrate Queen Esther's saving of her people from the wicked Haman. The Book of Esther almost sounds like a fairy tale, or a bed time story told to Jewish children. It is a story about the beautiful Esther who marries a pagan King. It is a story about evil Haman who wanted to destroy the Jews living in his country. It is a story about Mordecai, Esther's adopted father and also uncle, who urges Esther to marry the King. It is a story of how this young woman Esther out smarts Haman, saves her people by a shrewd act of faithfulness, and reverses the whole intent of Haman: Haman is hanged on the gallows that he had reserved for the Jews. Mordecai perhaps sums up the whole story, when Esther informs her uncle that a horrible fate awaited her people, he says, "And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" The Book of Esther never mentions God or prayer. Yet God is there, working behind the scenes and yet depending on Esther to do the right thing. Isn't that the way it is all the time. God does work in our lives; I believe in providence, but he also depends on us to act rightly. So Esther is a story about one woman's courage to do the right thing at the right time. It is a story about faithfulness, risk in doing right just when it is needed. It is a story about ordinary faithfulness by a woman who acted justly. It is a story to inspire anyone, no matter how ordinary, to speak up when there is injustice and wrong doing. So there you are at the water cooler, and something horrible is said about someone else, what do you do? Laugh to get along, or speak up and say, "That is not right!" Little moments can turn into bigger moments. In remembering this story, Jews say that if only in Nazi Germany more folks spoke up, like Esther, right at the beginning of anit-semitism, and said "this is not right," maybe the Hollocaust would never have happened. Who knows? But what we do know is that we are called to speak up and do the right thing at the right time whenever injustice and hatred raises its ugly head.