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      Current Exhibitions >> To Honor and Preserve

Megillat Ester: The Story of Irene Weinberg

presented with love by her son Rabbi Norbert Weinberg


      In every age, the Jewish people saw the echo of the Scroll of Esther and the Festival of Purim in their struggle to survive. Out of the darkness, "Layehudim Hayetah Orah v Simchah" for the Jews, there shone light and joy. For my mother, out of the darkness, there came the light and joy of not only surviving, but of creating new life.

      Purim provides the metaphor for my mother.

      You see, my mother Irene Weinberg, Irka as she was nicknamed, was in Hebrew, Esther.

      Esther was the name of public record for Hadassah. Esther was the name Hadassah used to save herself and her people. In the ancient languages of the Middle East, Esther was a pagan goddess, the morning star, Ishtar, Venus - but in Hebrew, Esther was derived from "nistar" [or] "Hidden" [in English]. By hiding her identity as a Jew and pretending to be a pagan on the outside, Hadassah, Esther becomes the Queen and saves not only herself but her people. In later Jewish lore, she is publicly the Queen, but in truth she is married to her uncle, Mordecai, the political figure and advisor.

      You see, my mother, Irene-Esther, saved herself and others by hiding in plain sight....

                                                                Irene. Myszków, 1944.

To read the entire story about Irene Weinberg, please click


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