Friday, July 25, 2014
Purim in Av
As I mentioned in my previous post, I had two particular thoughts about the connections between what we are experiencing now and TaNaCh. This is the second one: the parallels to Purim. Odd, yes, that’s the most joyous of holiday in the month during which we say, mishenichnas Adar marbin besimcha. The whole month of Adar is considered a happy one, quite the opposite of this time of year.
We are coming upon the 9 Days now, the start of the month of Av, about which our Sages say, mishenichnas Av mema’atin besimcha. We don’t hold celebrations during this time and even abstain from meat and wine during the days leading up to the date when the Bais Hamikdash was destroyed. The build up to that began even earlier on the fast day of the 17th of Tammuz. I’m sure that for many people, the feeling of bein hametzarim came even earlier this year, with what has been going on in Israel. We have experienced a great deal of pain and been subjected to naked hate by people around the world who seize this opportunity to express their hostility for all Jews on the pretext of caring about other people.
The Hamas plot that has been exposed through the ground invasion targeted at tunnels was nothing less than an attempt at genocide. See http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2014/07/what-hamas-planned-to-do-with-terror.html Just like Haman plotted so long ago, the forces of hate were to be gathered to together to murder all the Jews when they least expected it. Mordechai discovered the plot, but that alone wasn’t enough. Esther had to step up and speak out – even at the risk of her own life. She had to reverse the policy she had been practicing of laying low and come out as a Jew to the king who had no great love for them himself.
And here’s the thing that we must remember about who and what we are. We do what is right, not what people with particular political views want us to do, but what we have to do to survive and defeat evil.
What was right in Purim story was to make a public proclamation of the Jews’ right to defend themselves and to exterminate the forces of evil that sought their destruction. The Jews defeated their enemies, and we celebrate the day after the battle because we are not happy about killing but we are happy to survive.
When Haman told the king of his plot, he could not claim the Jews had oppressed anyone. They were exiled from home and pretty powerless then. But where the Jews or what they do has nothing to do with it because as people like to say today, haters gonna hate. The reasons for their hate lie in them It has nothing to do with supposed sins of a state. That is abundantly obvious to anyone who has even the faintest understanding of history.. The Jews were persecuted throughout their exile in countries like England, Spain, Russia, Poland, Germany, and the list goes on and on. None of those persecutors could attribute their hate to Jewish statehood. Clearly, the only constant is hate for who the Jews are rather than for what they do.
We learn from the Purim story that Jewish survival depends on fighting against those who seek to destroy them. But we also learn another thing: we must stick together to be strong. When Haman slandered the Jews to Achashverosh as worthless, he said that they are separated and scattered. Yes, we were scattered and still are today. But what the Jews achieved was coming together as one.
Just like Haman’s plot depended on mental terror, building up fear, and lowering morale, so does Hamas’s plot. I talked about the corruption of justice and morality in its strategy in my previous blog post and linked to an article on the role of media, so I won’t go over that. But there is another part in which the reporters are complicit. They are playing the role of Tokyo Rose.. They try to undermine us by saying we’ve lost the world’s sympathy and that must prove us to be wrong or doomed. Whoever claims they lost sympathy because of Gaza would have found another reason to point to for not supporting Israel. Those who think otherwise are delusional.
In Israel the overwhelming majority support what the IDF is doing. Considering how very divided the country normally is, that is absolutely amazing achdus. Sure, there are always some political extremists who will go against the grain, but there are also people who will insist they are Napoleon. They are not the ones who define the reality of klal Yisrael. Realistically, you cannot have 100% because of that. And remember, even at the culmination of one of the greatest triumphs in Jewish history – the Purim story itself – the hero Mordechai could only claim being like by most. So that’s reality. Let’s capitalize on that most for achdus and strength to stand up for Jewish survival. That's the way to counter the sinas chinam that stands against us. Practically speaking we can also employ the trifecta of tefila, tzedaka, and chessed to come together in support of our troops.