Today is the Jewish holiday of Purim, although I know by the time this is published Purim will have passed and Bibi will be back in Israel facing the music there.
Purim is a joyous celebration about Esther, the biblical queen who saved the Jews from annihilation. Esther was the favorite wife of King Xerxes of Persia who had no idea she was a Jew.
Haman was the king’s top advisor and was also an Amalekite, an ancient enemy of the Jews. Other officials bowed to Haman but not Mordecai, Esther’s cousin. Mordecai was also an advisor to the king and like a father to Esther; he refused to bow down to Haman, he bowed only to God and Haman hated Mordecai for this. So Haman plotted to destroy all Jews.
Haman went to the king and said, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws: it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them,” Esther 3:8. The king handed the fate of the Jews to Haman who planned to kill them all.
Mordecai found out about his plan and persuaded Esther to speak to the king. Esther was terrified because anyone who came into the king’s presence without being summoned could be put to death.
Esther fasted and prayed for three days and finally went to the king to beg him to spare her fellow Jews. He welcomed her, and because of her bravery and her faith the Jewish people were saved. Haman was hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai.
Now as I said, Purim is a joyous celebration, Jews are required to be happy and to perform certain mitzvah or religious duties. The first is reading the book of Esther aloud followed by celebration, dressing up, carnivals and gathering with family. The third is sending food to friends and the final mitzvah is giving gifts to the poor.
On the day of Purim people eat traditional foods, Hamantaschen, stuffed cabbage and kreplach, foods with hidden ingredients.
And the reason is: the most important thing about the book of Esther, God is never once mentioned in the story. He’s the hidden ingredient. The story of Esther is a total act of faith to teach us that even when we go it alone, God is present although not seen.
Today Israel is again confronting Haman and we can look at Bibi Netanyahu as today’s Esther. Israel is again threatened with annihilation because Islam hates them. They hate the Jews because, like Mordecai, Jews will not bow down to their God.
So Bibi came to the U.S. for help, to plead the case for the Jewish people to save them from Slaughter just as Esther did, and what happened. First his speech was boycotted, Obama spoke and stated what he thought of Bibi’s speech, then Diane Feinstein (a Jew) called him arrogant and said he doesn’t speak for her. Just an aside, Obama’s ratings as a leader went down after Bibi’s speech!
Feinstein’s response to Netanyahu was this, “I think the Jewish community is like any other community. There are different points of view. I think that arrogance does not befit Israel, candidly.”
Well, Diane, I think we found that high horse Obama was talking about last week. The Jewish community may be like any other community here in America and, yes, they do have differing opinions, but Israel is not a community. Israel is a state, a nation if you will, or didn’t you get the memo in shul?
And by the way I find it to be the height of arrogance when an American speaks for another country. Who are you to call the president of a country trying to save itself, arrogant? Haven’t you been paying attention these last few years? Annihilating Israel is all they talk about at the Muslim dinner table. Arrogance? Please!
The word bitachon is the Hebrew word for “trust in God”; it is also the word for defense. Trust in God and national defense are interchangeable in Israel as they, maybe, should be here. And thank God for that because under this administration Israel may have to go it alone against the Persian Haman.
Purim is God’s work through people, it’s a chance He gives us to do the right thing despite the fear and threats we might face. Our leaders, especially those on the left, failed miserably.
Netanyahu is fighting for the state of Israel and Jewish survival; here we ban sledding.