Purim 2016

We are hours away from Ta’anis Esther and Purim! What have we learned as a People?

Shushan was a city filled with Jews who, in the confusion of their hearts, ate and drank with Ahasheverus at a banquet celebrating his miscalculation of the prophecy that the Temple would be rebuilt 70 years after its destruction (and it had not)! Ironically, after his reign, his son, Darius, decreed that the Jews could go back to Israel and rebuild the Temple. Incredibly, the bulk of Jewry remained in the Persian Emplire, even though they were permitted to return to Israel!!!

It was a time of Hester Panim (The Hidden Face of G-d) and His Name is not mentioned throughout the Megillah. In that milieu, Haman, an Amalekite, arose and convinced the king to sign the death sentence of the entire Jewish population of the 127 provinces of the Persian Empire. An Amalekite — the gematria of sofek – doubt – arose as he has arisen in every generation when we are confused and splintered as a People. We were saved and the tables were turned on Purim!

We are in such a time today — Brussels (and before that Paris, San Bernardino, etc.) is flowing in the blood spilled by Islamic extremists who live in their midst! The world has enabled the infiltration of this cancer into every nook and cranny and it is metastisizing! The primary force in this upheavel is modern day Persia – Iran – with whom the Iran Nuclear Deal was made! Incredibly, Iran was funded with $150 Billion and is using this gift to buy arms, shoot missiles into the sky in violation of UN resolutions with the inscription in Hebrew and Pharisee calling for the destruction of Israel.

In Washington yesterday, AIPAC was addressed by all the candidates, except for the one Jew who is running, Bernie Sanders, who is outwardly ant-Israel and pro-Palestinian.

And we — what are we doing? what are we saying? What response to terror, to death, to overt propaganda calling for Death to America, Death to Israel? How many more will we allow into Europe, into America, who do not want to embrace the ideals of the countries they infest, but take their resources, while planning their destructions! How long will we stand by as the UN and countries that should be rallying against Islamic extremism, condemn not the Evil that threatens our very existence, but instead condemns, boycotts and marginalizes Israel? More importantly, how long will G-d permit this to go on?

This Purim may we turn it around – recommit to our People! Dare I say it?  Dare I say what is not politically correct, but which is the punctuation mark of the Megillah?  Dare we recommit, not just to our fellow Jews, to the State of Israel, but dare we recommit to our God?

We need to stop being apologetic!  We need to stop worrying about what ultra-liberals and even our confused brothers will say. We need to tell the rest of the world that we will not negotiate with anyone who calls for our destruction!  We will not beg to be accepted by those who will not concede that we have a fundamental right to exist! We need to be strong again, as we were in 1967!  It was then as now that we were hated, but it is then, not now, that we were respected and feared by our enemies — for we were strong and resolute!  We were united in our conviction that Israel was united in its right to exist and free of threat of destruction!

Purim is the precursor to Pesach.  The movement during the month of increasing joy – Adar – from confusion to clarity, from slavery to freedom!  Am Yisroel Chai!

A freiliche Purim!

About the Author
Naphtali Perlberger is a Senior Lecturer for AISH HaTorah and gives Parsha HaShavua shiurim at Young Israel of the Main Line. He is one of the founders and a past president of the Philadelphia Community Kollel. He is Founder & President of Philadelphia Chapter of Children of the Holocaust, and past FJA Chairman of Men's Organizations; talk show host for a radio show, "G-d is Listening" and former radio news broadcaster. Currently President of Kosloff Torah Academy High School for Girls.
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