Purimfest in Nuremberg

When abused by

rowdy high-school kids

with cries “Down

with all the filthy Yids,”

the Jews in Germany did not go into hiding,

but thinking Germans were all law-abiding —

they were, in fact — respecting laws of Nurem-

berg, till they were overturned, a Purim


gut churning,

as Julius Streicher understood, declaring

in Nuremberg, “It’s Purimfest,” nine other monsters sharing

the end of ten Hamanides, who for their senseless, fatal hate

of Jews enjoyed—-well, hardly! — the selfsame just, ironic, final gallows fate,

as hinted by small letters

you can see in the megillah,

whose gallows humor on this subject truly is an annual problematic killer.

According to Rabbi Mordechai Neugroschel, there is a code in the Book of Esther which lies in the names of Haman’s 10 sons (Esther 9:7–9). Three of the Hebrew letters—a tav, a shin and a zayin—are written smaller than the rest, while a vav is written larger. The outsized vav—which represents the number six—corresponds to the sixth millennium of the world since creation, which, according to Jewish tradition, is the period between 1240 and 2240 CE. As for the tav, shin and zayin, their numerical values add up to 707. Put together, these letters refer to the Jewish year 5707, which corresponds to the secular 1946–1947. In his research, Neugroschel noticed that ten Nazi defendants in the Nuremberg Trials were executed by hanging on October 16, 1946, which was also that year’s date of Hoshana Rabbah (21st of Tishrei; the final judgement day of Judaism). Additionally, Hermann Göring, the eleventh Nazi official sentenced to death, committed suicide, parallel to Haman’s daughter in Tractate Megillah.

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at
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