"I’ve been thinking a lot about how Purim commemorates the survival of Jews who were marked for death. How many of us have felt that ominous shadow hanging over us, over our communities this last year? There were times when we thought anyone who went outside was asking to get sick and die.
Queen Esther showed her bravery by metaphorically taking her mask off. Today, more than ever, we know that putting a mask on is what we do to show our bravery – how we contribute to the survival of our people and of those who are most at risk in this perilous moment. In both cases, it’s about putting the collective good ahead of one’s own comfort or enjoyment.
As a nursing student, I am also starting to see Queen Vashti through a new light. How do we reconcile ourselves when the law of the land doesn’t align with our ethical or moral compass? The rising generation of healthcare professionals has a reckoning in front of us. How do we ensure that we are giving not just equal, but equitable care to all, in a country where communities face vastly different health realities and outcomes?
This year, my Purim mask looks quite different from the ones I wore as a child, but I wear it proudly knowing that it embodies the bravery and moral fortitude this holiday invokes." — Shayna Moses, University of Delaware