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Purim: A Wacky Tribute to Life

The Talmud's advice for this holiday: get drunk.

by
P. David Hornik

Bio

March 15, 2014 - 6:00 am

PJ-Purim3

In the Purim story, the genocidal threat to the Jews comes from the Persian imperial regime, and specifically from Haman, the Jew-hating grand vizier. Israelis are aware of a striking parallel with today’s situation, in which the current Persian—or Iranian—regime has been waging a campaign to destroy Israel since taking power in 1979.

There are some significant differences as well. Haman’s boss, King Ahasuerus (probably the historical Xerxes I), has no particular beef against the Jews. He is, though, a mercurial, impressionable sort, and it’s Haman who talks him into ordering the killing of all the Jews in the empire. The current Iranian regime is, by contrast, ideologically committed to antisemitism. And whereas, in the Purim story, the Jews are dispersed throughout the empire and have not yet consolidated the Second Jewish Commonwealth in the Land of Israel, today’s Iranian regime has its sights set on what has been called the Third Jewish Commonwealth—a powerful, sovereign state that Iran knows it cannot hope to eradicate without intensive military efforts.

And yet, again, certain common features are striking. What stokes Haman’s ire at the Jews is the refusal of Mordechai—adoptive cousin of Esther, the king’s wife—to bow down to him. As Haman darkly complains to King Ahasuerus in Esther 3:8:

There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them.

For the current Iranian regime, the intolerable affront is simply the Jewish state’s sovereign existence in what is supposed to be an exclusively Muslim (preferably Shiite) domain. The intended sentence for the transgression is the same—death.

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Top Rated Comments   
There is no mystery here: The Edomites and Ishmaelites have joined forces and now turn their Evil eyes toward Jerusalem.


39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama- a modern day Hamann.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death." - Hassan Nasrallah

And the most puzzling aspect of the left: support for Muslim causes and a people who love death and celebrate martyrdom, and revulsion against Jewish causes and a people who love life and mourn for the dead. It's almost as if those who support Muslim causes have a death wish for themselves and, by extension, the rest of the non-Muslim world.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (5)
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Great video on Purim in Jerusalem. The Jews definitely know how to have a good time. The idiots who want to kill them are missing out on their potential best friend, business partner, client, or the person who could change their life for the better. You get more by being nice, it just does not feed you inner beast as much. And bad people need to feed their inner beast.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama- a modern day Hamann.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death." - Hassan Nasrallah

And the most puzzling aspect of the left: support for Muslim causes and a people who love death and celebrate martyrdom, and revulsion against Jewish causes and a people who love life and mourn for the dead. It's almost as if those who support Muslim causes have a death wish for themselves and, by extension, the rest of the non-Muslim world.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not only puzzling, but downright scary.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no mystery here: The Edomites and Ishmaelites have joined forces and now turn their Evil eyes toward Jerusalem.


39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All