Zion doesn’t love you

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Esther assimilates because Uncle Mordecai tells her to.

Esther assimilates because it is safer.

Esther assimilates because the courtesans are sweet.

Esther assimilates because suddenly she’s rich.

Esther assimilates because her parents are a distant memory.

Esther assimilates because the girls back home were nasty.

Esther assimilates because the prayers took too long.

Esther assimilates because non-kosher wine tastes better.

Esther assimilates because the forefathers are a fairy tale.

Esther assimilates because her Hebrew sounds awful.

Esther assimilates because she is stunning with straight hair.

Esther assimilates because she wants to.

It is not Hadassah who saves the Jews.  It is Esther, who hasn’t seen them in years.   Esther, who doesn’t know them any more. Esther, who never knew them.   Esther, who didn’t try.

(Hadassah stayed home and married poor and lived next door and raised poor sons who chanted ancient verses and died with her family by the Persian sword.)

Esther is a Queen, and Esther is a heroine, and Esther’s hair frizzes at night without the oils, and Esther hides her tears beneath scented silks.  Esther lifts her chin higher than the harem whispers.  Esther sees Haman pale and shivering in her dreams.

Esther sinks back into her canopy of spices and jewels and waits once more for her husband’s outstretched scepter.

Waits, and aches for what it means to be Chosen.”

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