This Thursday as Medical students around the country wait with much anticipation, and some uncertainty, to learn the direction of their future career, we commemorate a fast day [1]declared by Esther as she placed her life and her future in jeopardy to save her people.

  When I look at the life of Esther and the inspiration that we get from her, I see a similarity between Esther’s sacrifice and to match day and the life of a doctor in general. When I think of Esther risking her life to save her people I am less affected by the risk that she took, walking into the king’s chambers, and much more inspired that she did her act of bravery with an almost non-existent chance of success.

  Esther walked with uncertainty for her future but with absolute conviction in her mission. Whether she would live or die, whether she would succeed or fail - she had no idea; but what she did know was that her people needed her and so she stepped up.

  The life of a doctor is never certain and no knowledge or technique will ever guarantee success in this field - but a doctor doesn’t study and practice for perfection; a doctor studies, trains and constantly works to improve because he or she is needed.

  This is clearest on match day where future doctors commit to years of service – details to follow.

  Tamar and I are inspired every day by the conviction you show and the sacrifices that you make all of the time. We pray that each and every one of you receive the best possible match where you will join a great team and program which you respect, which will earn you respect and most importantly, which will bring out all of your potential.

  Good luck,

Rabbi Zalman


[1] Esther’s fast was actually Passover time however we commemorate it now