S P E C I A L S

For the week ending 3 March 2012 / 8 Adar I 5772

Purim Revisited (and Revised)

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Persia became Iran and Haman became the nuclear nuisance whose name is so hard to pronounce. But nothing seems to have really changed as regards the threat to Jewry posed by its enemies.

In the spirit of the season let us revisit Persia and Purim in the light of what is being done in our day regarding Iran. Let us try to imagine what would have happened then if Mordechai and Esther would have acted like Netanyahu and Obama.

Scene One: An appeal is made to representatives of all the 127 provinces ruled by Achashveirosh which form the United Nations of their era. No action is taken to halt Haman's planned violation of human rights and Haman is invited to address the world body on his favorite theme that the Jews must be destroyed.

Scene Two: Having failed to arouse the world, the Jews decide to independently apply sanctions against Haman and his cohorts by boycotting their businesses and refusing to use their oil. The sanctions fail to achieve their goal because there are enough anti-Semites buying their oil and otherwise supporting them.

Scene Three: The head of the Self-Defense Committee of the Jewish community in Shushan declares a “state of emergency” and mobilizes Jewish soldiers for possible preemptive military action. Every day the Jewish newspapers throughout the kingdom carry endless discussions by politicians and generals as to whether to attack or to continue with diplomatic efforts, but no one mentions the role of G-d.

Scene Four: After realizing that appeals to the world's conscience, sanctions and military action, will not save them, the Jews respond to the call of Queen Esther to gather in fasting, repentance and prayer to help her succeed in one last diplomatic effort of an appeal to the king.

Scene Five: Jews who have hitherto put their trust in the world community and their own self-defense capability now turn to Heaven for help. Their return is rewarded with a miracle as their enemies are vanquished and Haman is hung on the gallows he prepared for Mordechai.

"Thus, G-d, may all Your enemies be destroyed."

Happy Purim!

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