Updated: Nov 5, 2020
“Esther did not reveal her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had told her not to reveal it” (Esther 2:10)
Queen Esther carried with her the knowledge of silence, of knowing when to speak and when to keep quiet. She was sharp that way. Her words came out of the text at precise moments with full force to create extreme impact, but the rest of the time was silence.
It is precisely her ability to remain silent which brings out the power within her, as if too much chatter and noise would just dilute it:
“For You silence is praise” (Psalms 65:2)? The best remedy of all is silence, i.e., the optimum form of praising God is silence. The Gemara relates: When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Israel to Babylonia, he said: In the West, Eretz Yisrael, they say an adage: If a word isworth one sela (an ancient coin) silence is worth two. (BT Megillah 18a)
Why is silence so powerful?
Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Gabirol tought us: “In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth teaching others”.
So often we jump right into action and into teaching others, without first stopping to practice silence, without first being quiet.
The New Moon of Adar appears this Wednesday, and we start making our ascent/descent into Purim which we will celebrate on the Full Moon of Adar. This year we’ll focus on Queen Esther and her many attributes – as Queen of silence, as Queen of darkness and as the Morning Star.
In making this week a time for practicing Silence - try and allow silence to enter your life in an intentional way. Perhaps by allowing an "awkward pause" to just sit there without filling in the gaps. Perhaps by turning off all electronics or music. Perhaps by just driving to work without the radio on.
Allow this to happen for at least seven days.
Has anything (good, bad, comfortable, painful etc') emerged out of the quiet?