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
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"
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.