Esther Moore, born in Belgium, daughter of Rick and Patricia Ridings, sister of Bethany Tal Rosenfeld and Anna Boyd, passed away in July leaving behind her husband Will Moore and their young son Calev.
During her 29 years of life on earth, Esther was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, musician, writer, blogger, photographer and so much more. Her life was celebrated during a memorial service at Succat Hallel earlier this week with nearly 200 people in attendance and thousands more around the world tuning into a live stream.
The Ridings family moved to Jerusalem in 2000 and they have been part of the Messianic community since. Rick and Patricia pioneered a house of prayer in Jerusalem — Succat Hallel, a 24/7 prayer room in Abu Tor that overlooks the Temple Mount and Mount of Olives.
Growing up in Jerusalem, Esther was a passionate worshipper and intercessor. Her childhood friend, Adiel Abramson, shared a story about their time growing up when they attended a camp called Soldout in 2002.
“Esther and two other girls were standing at the wall and interceding very loudly, praying for people’s salvation. I was on the side going through something else. Esther saw me, stopped and sat down and gave me a huge ‘Esther hug.’ You know what I mean if you have been hugged by her. I shared with her what I was going through,” Adiel related. “I had the most profound encounter with the Holy Spirit that night because Esther pulled me and prayed for me. She’s so compassionate. She was not judgmental. She received everyone with so much love.”
Esther’s first concert was at the Rosenfeld’s courtyard in downtown Jerusalem. Adam Rosenfeld, Esther’s brother in law, reminisced, “The audience was mesmerized. You could hear a pin drop.”
To the community in Jerusalem, Esther was not just a faithful and faith-filled sister, she was a free spirit filled with vision and life. She has left a trail and mark by her hugs, love and the beautiful songs she wrote, some of which are available online.
In 2010, Esther married Will Moore and moved to Bath in England. In 2014, their son Caleb, a lovely boy who has Down Syndrome, was born. Esther championed her son and promoted him every chance she could.
In January 2016, Esther was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive and fast-growing type of cancer.
During a memorial service in Jerusalem on Aug. 26 at Succat Hallel, Bethany commented on her sister’s response to the news of cancer.
“When she found out she had cancer at the age 25, yeah she yelled and screamed hitting her car. She let out all the emotions she felt to God. She nearly broke the dashboard. She was really real with the Lord. But she did not let herself stay in a place of self-pity. or bitterness. She chose gratitude,” Bethany said.
Over the course of 2016 and 2017, Esther underwent two surgeries — one that took out all the lymph nodes in her left arm and another when they found a second lump under her arm a few months later.
“When I was first told the diagnosis, I couldn’t even say the ‘C’ word without feeling emotionally overwhelmed and completely inadequate to deal with everything that comes with it. Yet now, when I look back over this and the many hard times we’ve had before, I don’t wish that these times had never happened. I feel the bittersweetness that I can imagine a wind-torn and half frozen mountain climber feels after conquering Everest. I look back over my life and, from this viewpoint, can see how every hard thing we’ve gone through have been little mountains that we’ve had to conquer as practice for this, our Everest. I see now that out of every single time of hardship we went through, including this sheer cliff of a challenge of getting through cancer, that unbelievably – good has come out of it. Every time.” — from Esther’s blog post on Oct. 16, 2016
When Esther found a third lump — the third time the cancer had recurred within 9 months — the doctors said there was nothing they could offer that would be curative, only palliative. Though the news was devastating, Esther and Will braved yet another wave and decided to move from the U.K. to Jerusalem, where Esther grew up and where her family lives.
Since fall 2017, Esther lived in Jerusalem and her family thanked God that they got to see her every day during her eight months in Jerusalem.
“I really learned to hold time with Esther,” said Bethany. “All we have to take into eternity is our heart, what God forms in our heart. This time on earth is like we are in a womb. It is dark and we cannot see God. We can hear His voice and heartbeat. Jesus said, ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ Even though Esther was my younger sister, she was my hero. She showed me what was 1 Corinthians 13:13 was, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’”
In April 2018, Esther fought her last battle against cancer with immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a treatment that supercharges the immune system to fight against the cancer. After six weeks of immunotherapy in an alternative treatment center near San Diego, Esther contracted sepsis and entered into a coma multiple times. (Click here to read more of the details of Esther’s treatments and to help with the remaining medical bills.)
During her last waking hours, she spoke her last words: “Hodu l’Adonai ki tov” (Give thanks to the Lord for He is good).
Esther breathed her last and stepped into eternity.
Will Moore, Esther’s husband, saw a beautiful vision during her last moments.
“It was the clearest vision I have ever seen. It was like I was back at our wedding waiting for Esther under the hupa. I saw her dancing down the aisle to me again. As I stood there I saw my tuxedo change and I knew it was not me standing under the hupa. It was Yeshua. All the emotion I had when I stood under the hupa came back. The excitement of seeing how happy she was dancing down the aisle and how in love and absolutely captivated by her beauty I was. It was the happiest moment of my life. I knew in a moment Yeshua was seeing His bride come, and he felt all those feelings ever more now as she danced towards Him. He is her true husband, and I know how joyful she is now.”
Will said his friends chided him for getting married so early, at age 21. But as he looked back he said it was the best decision he ever made since his time together with Esther would be so short.
Esther’s love continues to inspires. She loved and followed Yeshua with all her heart. God’s love for us is not dependent on our response. And Esther’s love for God was not dependent on God healing her.
“It was not about her getting her dreams and future and her calling here on earth,” Bethany said. “She loved God. Period. Without conditions. I hope I can be like that. She really finished her race well.”
As Rick Ridings, Esther’s father, remarked at the memorial service, “We don’t pretend that we know everything. It is better to know God than to know why. We can say with all of our heart that Esther knew God, even when she didn’t know why.”
Esther’s body might have been broken in the battle, but her spirit was strong. She lived 29 years of life to the fullest.
She has left a legacy on believers in Jerusalem and worldwide.
Click below to view Esther’s song: “Height of the Storm”