I am not an overly religious person, but I do remember the biblical story from The Book of Esther. For Jews, it’s a story we hear every year on the holiday of Purim. To summarize: once upon a time there was a powerful king who was easily manipulated by his entourage. His wife, the Queen refused to obey an order to appear naked in front of him at a party, so the King banished her and found a new woman to marry. This woman happened to be Jewish and her name was Esther.
The King’s chief advisor, Haman, is the story’s villain. Because Haman feels disrespected (and threatened) by Mordecai, Esther’s Uncle, Haman convinces the King to destroy all the Jews – specifically, convinces the King to allow his people to kill all the Jews without fear of retribution.
Mordecai tells Esther she must stop this plan. She refuses because she’s scared to approach the King: the King is capricious and if he doesn’t like what she has to say, will have her killed.
Mordecai replies in Esther 4:13: “Do not imagine that you, of all the Jews, will escape with your life by being in the king’s palace. On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to royal position for just such a crisis.”
Queen Esther goes on to summon the courage, confront the King, and expose Haman’s evil plan. She finally gets through to the King by making it clear to him that she, too would be destroyed if Haman’s evil plan continues.
Now, more than ever, the Jewish people — as well as other minority groups — need a Queen Esther to challenge the growing demagoguery and not allow those who would commit hateful and criminal acts to feel they will not be punished. Queen Esther was in the right place at the right time to stop the madness described in the Book of Esther. Ivanka, you’re now in the right place and this is the right time. Read the Book of Esther, and step forward.