Here in Shiloh, we celebrate two days of Purim for reasons that seem less and less convincing each year. Everyone, including the most secular and anti-biblical narrative archaeologists agree that Shiloh was a Jewish City long before the post-First Temple Purim story. Now that I’ve been studying Ezra-Nehemiah: Shivat Tzion´s Challenges and Triumphs taught by Yael Leibowitz in Matan, the timeline of Jewish History is starting to make more sense to me. But as you well know, I am not a rabbi, historian or archeologist; I’m just a blogger…
One of the advantages of having both Purim days is that after thirty-four, yes, 34, years, I’ve heard Megillat (Scroll of) Esther many, many times. I also took a course on it in Matan a number of years ago by Atara Snowbell.
The Megillat (Scroll of) Esther opens with the celebrations in Persia and makes it clear that the Jewish community there participated fully. They were accepted as proper Persians as long as they didn’t stand out as Jews. That’s why Mordecai’s refusal to bow down to Haman, a high official of King Achashverosh was so “problematic.”
Most of the Jewish People in Persia considered assimilation to be the way to succeed and have an easy life. From my studies of Ezra-Nechemia, intermarriage was rife, and Jewish observance was rare.
Yes, doesn’t that remind you of today’s western world, America, Europe, Australia etc? For a Jew to get even close to the highest echelons of power, he/she must fully adopt a non-Jewish lifestyle and ideology/religion. Yes, think of Bernie Sanders.
Those of us who insist that the United States is not a true friend and ally of Israel are criticized and shunned. Too many Jews refuse to recognize that only Gd can save us. They are blinded by the fancy words of foreign politicians and think of those “buy in America only” shopping coupons as valuable gold.
Whenever I’ve spoken to a Jew who has met a POTUS, no matter who, they seem permanently blinded by some dazzle of the occasion. It saddens me, and it frightens me. Is there some mechanism in the White House or accompanying a President that zaps the brain of everyone in his (in the meantime no “her”) presence turning logic into mush?
Well, if we’re really in a similar situation then it will take much stronger actions against the Jewish communities in the world and the State of Israel for common sense/faith in Gd only to come to fore. Too bad that most Jews can only understand when times get really tough. I remember how things were in the difficult weeks leading up to the 1967 Six Days War. The Jewish World gathered in prayer to Gd and we had no foreign allies. Gd gave us a victory that military experts can’t explain to this day. But unfortunately as the smoke cleared so did the faith in Gd. I hate to think what it will take for the Jewish People to finally come to its senses permanently.Batya Medad