Micaela Ezra of Ahyin Judaica
Ushering in March: the month in which we are reminded of the story of Purim, from the book of Esther. Micaela Ezra of Ahyin Judaica shares her profound wisdom regarding Purim with us.
What is your main mystical take-away from the Purim story?
In recent years, I have a new perspective on Queen Esther. I always assumed she orchestrated something: that she used her feminine powers to control and change an outcome.
But the Megillah (The Book of Esther) describes that when she approached the King, she was dressed in Malchut. Malchut is the last of the ten sephirot (divine qualities through which we understand the world) and while it is translated as dignity, or sovereignty, we also understand it as a spiritual quality which holds and expresses all the sephirot that come before it.
Malchut isn’t a forcing - it’s an allowing and implies deep surrender. Esther didn’t necessarily plan what to do, but she made space for something sacred to work through her and in the process she expressed a Divine majesty. This wasn't a seductive manipulation but an openness to holy choreography.
We see that our power is more than our muscle or ability to control.
Our power is in knowing our roots and knowing that we do not work alone.
Esther teaches us that when we want to rise up, we also need to open up. In order to feel more empowered, we can tend to our divine connection and soften at the same time.
Where in your life have you recently found hidden miracles?
In our unexpected relocation back to Sydney after fifteen years in NYC, I began an intimate, new-moon women's circle, to share some of the spiritual teachings I had been exposed to. It was an opportunity to pass on beautiful, Jewish wisdom to individuals who were seeking it. Within that offering, suddenly a small community is blossoming; although it was not my original reason for creating the circle, I have made dear new friendships, felt more settled in our new home and more deeply connected to our reason for being here.
How do you increase your joy in this month of Adar?
As we enter Adar we are told to "increase in joy", and it’s a really interesting thing to notice this emotion, especially when we encounter situations which are not what we had hoped or planned for. How can we surrender to what is, and experience a deeper level of joy and contentment? How can we hold joy alongside conflicting feelings? To me, it’s always in our presence, in our ability to connect - to one another, to Divine, to spirit, to nature, to life.
So personally I try to focus with gratitude on the small things; not to resist where I am; In Judaism we distinguish Joy from Happiness. Happiness appears to be in the beyond - something external we are chasing, whereas joy is always right here. Joy will find us when we are present to the experiences and people we love.