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Few Minutes From HOME: Preface

Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf will be rolling out segments of the manuscript of his new book over the next few months in this column. This week, read the preface of the book below and watch Rabbi Apisdorf's short video explaining the segment.


Open the file below to read the full preface.

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Excerpt from the preface:

Now, before going further,

I want to share with you

the belief that underlies this book …

History Is Ours For the Shaping

“All the books of the prophets, and all the writings, will no longer be valid in the days of the

Messiah, with the exception of the Book of Esther, which will remain, together with the five

books of the Torah, and the laws of the Oral Law, that will never lose their validity. Even

though all memories of historic troubles will be dropped, the days of Purim will remain in

place, as it says in Esther, ‘The days of Purim will not pass from the Jews, and their memory

will never disappear from their descendants.’”

Maimonides, Laws of Megilla, 2:18

Incredible. “Even though all memories of historic troubles will be dropped, the days of

Purim will remain in place …” Clearly the story of Esther contains messages so vital that

they will carry us not only to the end of exile, but beyond.

Perhaps this is one such message:

When Mordechai informed Esther that she needed to intercede with King Achashverosh,

she hesitated, and was told that despite the fact that Heaven had perfectly set the stage for

her to be the catalyst of salvation, should she demur, “Do not think that you will be able to

escape within the king’s palace any more than the rest of the Jews. If you insist on being silent at a time like this, relief and salvation will arise from elsewhere, while you and your fathers house will perish. And who knows whether it was just for such a time that you attained royalty.”

What? Salvation would arise from elsewhere? Without Esther, without a perfectly

planted Jewish queen, without the sudden reversal of fortune, how could that be? And what

of the idea that the Purim story of salvation and redemption is forever?

It seems that history is ours for the shaping.

It seems that Jewish history isn’t a story to be read or a film to be watched, but rather an

invitation, no, a challenge. Like Mordechai’s challenge to Esther: To sit on the fence and

observe, or to contribute to the story line, the script, and the conclusion.

I Believe

I believe that the golden age of American Jewry will be remembered as one of the crown

jewels of Diaspora history.

I believe that the stunning growth of the Torah community in America since the

1970’s—spurred by a generation of spiritual heroes—borders on the miraculous.

I believe that the ground is shifting beneath our feet, and …

I believe that the Geula we have longed and prayed for over the last two millennia is well

under way, that it bears little resemblance to what we

were expecting, and that as observant

Jews we have a historic opportunity to impact Am Yisroel, dramatically influence the flow of

Jewish history, and profoundly shape the unfolding redemption.

The Megillah of Jewish history is open,

and the story, yours and mine, is ours to write.

So that’s the essence of what this book is about.

The rest, as the saying goes, is commentary.

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