Next Year’s Megillah

As I sit today reading Megillat Esther, one of the five scrolls in our Hebrew Bible, the tragedy of Purim is more clear in my eyes and in my heart. A tyrant, Haman, prime minister of Persia more than two thousand years ago, has infected his evil spirit into the tyrant president of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

Both wicked men had the same intention and plot… to destroy an independent nation and to wipe its memory and its people clean from the earth.

The only difference was that the Persians could feel the wrath of the heroic Maccabees while the heroic Ukrainians can feel only the silence of the Jews of Israel.

Today, ten young children standing in a line for bread were murdered by Russians without any feeling for humanity.

The new Hitler, the Russian tyrant President Vladimir Putin, seeks like Hitler to destroy a nation and its people.

Some refer to his wish to re-unify the nations of the former Soviet Union. Today, the Ukraine. Tomorrow, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova, Romania and Hungary.

Not sufficient to recreate a Soviet Union, Putin goes one step historically back centuries to recreate the Russian empire and to crown himself the new Czar, the Emperor of tyranny, death and destruction.

Many nations have expressed their sympathy for the impoverished and starved Ukrainians who have lost tens of thousands of their citizens and have seen millions fleeing for safety and protection to nearby nations, Poland in particular. Nearby countries attempt to provide food and clothing to impoverished Ukrainians.

One small country which itself has experienced wars, hatred, persecution, and attempted destruction is our very own Jewish State of Israel. Our silence and lack of condemnation of Russian tyranny is a disgrace and a shame to the very name of “Jews”.

Ukraine, like tyrannical Russia, is an ally of Israel and has enjoyed good relations with us since our independence in 1948. They have supported us over and over again in the halls of the United Nations against attacks by Arab terrorists. But we, in Ukraine’s desperate time of need, have remained silent. A silence which further encourages more death and destruction of an innocent nation and its people.

Israel has an excuse for its silence. Russia and Syria are good friends. Russia supplies Syria with arms, missiles and other deadly weapons which Syria, close to our northern borders, will not hesitate to use against us. To antagonize Russia can lead it to encourage its ally Syria to use its weapons against us.
But without antagonizing Russia, we could certainly provide the Ukrainians with food, clothing and medicines… all items of humanity, of caring for a friendly nation in need of our help and support.

Our Israeli silence is Ukrainian death!!! How do we live with it? How do our Jewish consciences permit us to sleep soundly each night?

We all recall our hundreds and thousands of marching demonstrations and protesters against a recent past criminal prime minister. Thousands in support of the LGBTQ march annually for gay pride. Where are the thousands and tens of thousands who do not march in demonstrations against Israel’s silence and refusal to aid the Ukrainians in their attempts for survival?

Where is the Jewish neshama (soul)? Where is the Jewish heart? Where is the Israeli concern for a fellow friendly nation and its attacked people? Where are the voices of our rabbis to cry out against our lack of concern and aid to a suffering people?

Voices were silenced when Hitler seized power in Germany, when the Nazis conquered most of Europe, when millions of innocent people were slaughtered, gassed, brutalized, all because of their names, race and religion.

More than six million Jews. More than twenty-seven millions of Russians and Roma (gypsies), more than any other country in the world. Millions in occupied European nations and concentration camps and ghettos. The nations of the world condemned Germany and its partners in 1945 when the end of the terrible world war ended. The guilty nations and people were punished. Will there be a world demand for punishment on Putin’s tyranny?

I am truly sickened by my country’s silence, by its lack of aid, by its closed eyes and ears to a suffering humanity.

I am proud to be a Jew but I am today ashamed to be a citizen of Israel.

The Scroll of Esther marks the punishment upon those nations and people who attacked ancient Israel.

The ancient Persia of two thousand years ago and the modern Iran, the blood of the very same people who served the wicked Haman, has once again risen up to threaten other nations both near and far. Israel has not been silent in its criticism of modern Islamic Iran.

Why does it remain silent in the face of Russian aggression against neighboring Ukraine?

By its silence, closed eyes and ears, Israel is recreating a new megillah… one of shame and a disgrace to the world.

This year as every year in past, on Purim we feed on delicious Haman- tashen cakes. Next Purim, maybe we will feast upon a variety of Putin- tashen cakes.

One tyrant deserves memory to his wicked deeds in ancient Persia. Another, in modern Russia. One tyrant was hanged in Persia. The new tyrant should be hanged in mother Russia. As soon as possible !!!

Let Israel’s terrible silence end. Let the destruction of human life, homes, hospitals and areas of civilized life end immediately.. today and forever.

And let the inactive aid of our leaders to a friendly nation in desperate need of our help be condemned for the disgrace it is being witnessed by the decent nations of humanity.

As for us in Israel, we have lost our decency. Busha v’cherpa. Our shame cannot be wiped away.

A new Megillat Esther will have to be written. I would like to join in its writing. Who else will join to help in erasing our Israeli disgrace and world-wide shame?

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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