Tag Archives: Purim

Speaking up and Celebration of Purim

Tonight starts the celebration of Purim, for many known as the Jewish carnival. In many families it is a pleasant day for the kids they being allowed to dress up and them looking for presents which are sent by family members and friends. First the children were asked to fast and to keep those things that the like much, to share with others who have less then them.

From today until Schmini Shel Pesach the final day of Passover on Nisan 22, commemorating the Splitting of the Red Sea, the climax of the Exodus from Egypt, and the day when we focus on the final liberation, the one that’s yet to happen. We look at the days of or moments of liberation the Hashem has given to His People. These days we remember the time of Moshe and Estêr, but also we reflect on the way God is with us all the time.

Starting with the commemoration of the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from the wicked Haman his plot

“to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day,”

as recorded in the Megillah (book of Esther).

Esther before Ahasuerus, by Franciszek Smuglewicz, 1778

The Jew-hating Haman, appointed prime minister of the Persian Empire under King Aḥašvērōš, convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar, a date chosen by a lottery Haman made.
Mardəkī or Mordecai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to the Most High Elohim. After the first wife of the king had been executed for failing to follow his orders, he arranged a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favour in the king’s eyes and became the new queen, though she refused to divulge her nationality. After Haman had required to kill the Jews Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity, which would mean when the decree would be executed his beauty and loved one would be killed also. To avoid such drama Haman was hanged and instead of him Mordechai was appointed prime minister. A new decree was issued, granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.

On the 13th of Adar, the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar, they rested and celebrated. In the capital city of Shushan, they took one more day to finish the job.

Since Haman had thrown lots to determine when he would carry out his diabolical scheme this remembrance period is also called “Feast of lots”.

Queen Estêr (Esther) is the heroine of the Megillah tale, and has been a character used in several films and some ballets. From a simple girl she could take a very high position, which made her able to use her influence to save the Jewish people. But this was only possible by revealing her nationality. She could have been quiet and let the Jews been killed, but preferred to speak, endangering herself. Though the king madly in love with her did not kill her but killed the man who had asked for the Jews to be killed.

Married to a non-Jew she was stuck having the privilege to live in a palace, and the years after this event was still unable to join her people in their celebrations. She had saved her people, but could not save herself from her ‘castle-walls’. She was trapped, living between two worlds.

We have to take care we get not trapped, but also that we do not stay silent. Certainly in these times when we can find more and more people who do find that this world only belongs to (trinitarian) Christians. Looking around and following the news, we hear several times a week how Jews are bullied or even how certain people try to kill Jews on the street (like the incident in Antwerp last week).

Rabbi Michael Knopf who writes extensively on matters of halakhah (the Jewish legal tradition) a few days ago wrote about Purim and the Responsibilities of Privilege and looking at our position in this world wrote:

We cannot be truly safe, truly free, truly prosperous, until everyone is safe, free, and prosperous.

He also remembered Martin Luther King, Jr. who wrote,

“I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” (“Letter from a Birmingham Jail”).

These coming days we especially look at the way God helped His People and how they acted in their life on the way to the Promised Land. Most of them never saw that place which could have been an ‘heaven on earth’. Throughout history we have seen many pogroms and years of torture and killings of our ancestors. These days we can remember them but also remember the liberation of so many. Because these days that is going to be our focus, how the Elohim is there to help us and to guide us to be able to live in a world which does not like the Children of God. Going up to Pesach, the climax of the year 15-22 Nisan, remembering the Passover and liberation of Gods people.

The Rabbi reminds us:

If you are reading this column, chances are good that you are among the ranks of the most fortunate people to ever live.
Mordechai‘ s challenge to Esther is, therefore, our challenge as well. When there are those in our world, in our country, whose lives are at risk, do we stand by, fearful that speaking up will cost us our position? Or do we remember that our fate is bound up in their fate, too, and perhaps we have attained our privilege for just such a crisis?

This was the question of Esther’s time. This is the question of our time. As we celebrate Purim, let us honor Mordechai’s challenge, and recall Esther’s heroic response. {Purim and the Responsibilities of Privilege }

On the Israel Forever Foundation website and on Inspiration from Zion: This is a Love Story we also find the warning

Today we are not witnessing the Holocaust but there are world leaders who advocate for the elimination of the Jewish State. There are individuals who openly declare that the genocide of the Jewish people should have been completed. Antisemitism is again becoming something that is socially acceptable to express in public. {Purim: Not to speak is to speak}

And a question

In a world where Antisemitism is again becoming socially acceptable, where Jews are told that they cannot be both feminists and Zionists and many Jews are afraid to speak out about the injustices against our people – what message could be more relevant? {Purim: Not to speak is to speak}

 

+

Additional reading

  1. Purim or Ta’aniet Estêr
  2. Beginning of weeks for the Feasts of deliverance
  3. The son of David on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  4. High Holidays not only for Israel
  5. 8 Reasons Christian Holidays Should Not Be Observed
  6. Observance of a day to Remember
  7. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  8. Day of remembrance coming near
  9. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  10. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  11. Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called
  12. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  13. Preparation for Passover
  14. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  15. Sukkoth, Gog, Magog, Armageddon, a covenant and Jerusalem
  16. Wednesday 5 April – Sunday 9 April 30 CE Pesach or Passover versus Easter
  17. Most important day in Christian year
  18. Most important weekend of the year 2016
  19. This day shall be unto you for a memorial and you shall keep it a feast to the Most High God
  20. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  21. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  22. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  23. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  24. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  25. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  26. Easter holiday, fun and rejoicing
  27. A Great Gift commemorated
  28. Jesus memorial
  29. Thinking about fear for the Loving God and an Invitation for 14 Nisan
  30. What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

+++

Related articles

  1. Esther Nine: Purim
  2. Shabbat, Purim, and What Makes You Happy
  3. Of Hats, Pockets, Ears, and Hidden Messages
  4. If the Shoe Fits (Purim)
  5. Purim and Living Between Worlds
  6. Purim To The RescueThe Purim Miracle 1
  7. The purim miracle 2
  8. Deceit Meets Truth at PurimPurim… The Invisible Hand – By MarcPurim: Not to speak is to speak
  9. Purim or Feast of lots
  10. Purim Sameach!
  11. Purim | Looking Beyond the Smoke, Mirrors & Masks
  12. The Rebbe on Parashat Zakhor and Purim (March 23-24, 1940 in the Warsaw Ghetto)
  13. For Such a Time as This
  14. Kosher Wine and Show Tunes on tap for Purim
  15. Rav Avigdor Miller on Drinking Like a Goy on Purim
  16. The holiday of Purim
  17. #Purim Life Takes A-Way M’om’ents; Thy Divine Sight, Makes A-Weigh For More Meant/Mentorship of Meritorious M’om’entum’s Immaculate/Infinite/Evolutionary Worthiness Exalted Renaissance Orientated C’om’munion’s……………
  18. Purim, Exile, and Redemption
  19. Purim and the Responsibilities of Privilege
  20. The Coin Flip (Purim)
  21. Purim: The Upside Down Drama of Esther
  22. Esther 9, the Jews triumph, Purim celebrated.
  23. Purim 2018
  24. The Purim-miracle 4
  25. For Such a Time as This
Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

Since a year or five we do notice that the ten years of the growing ‘right’ has not only brought an aversion against immigrants and/or refugees. More and more the Jewish community became target of bullying and hate actions.

The deathly attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels was something which should have awaken the politicians. In Belgium the Jewish schools and centres could receive extra security measures from the Belgian government. That is nice but should be something that would not be necessary.

All over the West-side of the European continent we do see a growing resistance or hate against the choice of living of the Jews in Europe. Several young Jews found it already better to take everything together and to leave this part of the world to go to live in Israel, even when that meant also to go in the army for two years.

Many of us really wonder what we should do today in the face of global anti-Semitism?

There are those who still caution a “better to hush it up and make believe it isn’t there” policy. Giving it publicity, they claim, will only stoke the fire. A shrill response is counterproductive. When we show that we hurt, the argument goes, we’re giving our enemies comfort.
But they are wrong. They are as wrong as those in the early stages of the Holocaust who pretended not to see, who claimed Hitler can’t really be considered a threat, who were sure that the evil of Jew hatred was so obviously uncivilized and barbaric that it had no chance of succeeding. Wait it out, said those who counselled against protests, those who didn’t want to identify themselves as Jews with profound interest in saving their fellow Jews. It can’t happen here, they claimed. But it did – and they were proven wrong six million times over.

There are all too many Hamans today. Anti-Semites require the spotlight of our attention and the public scorn of our protests and demonstrations.

Today we see the growing  hostility toward or prejudice against Jews or Judaism as well as against Muslims, because of fundamentalist Muslims (Jihadists) defiling the Muslim faith and calling for a hate against Jews and non-believing people. It looks like we are also getting a revival of the rising nationalism like the one of the 19th century. Today we also see how the Roman Catholic Church, which in the 19th century sometimes subscribed to the idea of Jewish racial identity and sometimes denied it, like then not only fails to condemn European anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism, now the Muslim communities stayed too long silent condemning those Islamist fundamentalists who have nothing to do with real Islam. Balkans. Political/Physical map: regional, elevation.A problem by the Catholics is that in the East of Europe there are still some very right-wing priests and we must remember that in the Balkan several priests in the past had worked together with the Germans to get rid of the Jews. For Rabbi Giuseppe Laras this can well be the reason why the Catholic Church does not react stronger against the growing anti-semitism. He sees in it a continuation of a contempt towards the Jewish people that found genocidal expression during World War II, when Catholic Priests ran half the concentration camps in Fascist Croatia. Though we also should remember that this loathing also extended to Orthodox Christian Serbs, real or non-trinitarian Christians, like the Jehovah Witnesses, and also other minorities like the Roma who were slaughtered in these same camps by the hundreds of thousands.

By the threats of the jihadist groups like Al Qaeda, Daesh or ISIS, and the big amount of refugees coming into Europe lots of poorer Europeans see their jobs threatened and are fearing they would loose out on them.

Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: The Resurgence

Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: The Resurgence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We need not only to shout out our pain, we should motivate others to open their eyes and to see what is going on. We have to call onto those who say they are lovers of God.

We need to assert our Jewish identity – not mask it – with increased passion and vigor. We need to make the elimination of anti-Semitism not simply a Jewish cause but the universal response to a heinous crime which for far too long has soiled the pages of history.

As we prepare to observe Purim this year, let us make the noise required to eradicate the genocidal ambitions of anti-Jewish hatred which still continue to plague us.

The US delegation for the 2004 OSCE Conference...

The US delegation for the 2004 OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism, led by former New York Mayor Ed Koch and former US Secretary of States Colin Powell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

+

Preceding article

Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

++

Additional reading

  1. Religious Practices around the world
  2. Protest against Tzahal concert in Antwerp
  3. Migrants to the West #6
  4. 2014 European elections
  5. Hamas the modern Philistines
  6. January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  7. World remembers Auschwitz survivors
  8. 25 Orthodox rabbis issued a statement on Christianity
  9. French Muslims under attack
  10. At the closing hours of 2016 #1 Looking down at terror
  11. Jews the next scapegoat for Donald Trump
  12. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  13. Objective views and not closing eyes for certain sayings
  14. Donald Trump after declining numbers of people victimised for their religion managed to increase the numbers again

+++

Further reading

  1. Anti-Semitic threats towards Jewish Centers continue to rise in numbers
  2. anti-Semitism, the DNC, and Donald Trump
  3. Anti-Semitism row at Bristol University as lecturers rally round academic who claimed Jews should stop ‘privileging’ the Holocaust
  4. Jeffrey Goldberg on Mel Gibson: He is “Hollywood’s leading antisemite”
  5. This #Muslim interfaith activist knows more about #Zionism than most Jews
  6. France has passed the point of no return
  7. Far-right candidate sees a France sans kippas, headscarves — NZ Friends of Israel Association Inc
  8. Anti-Semites attack Philadelphia, USA Jewish cemetery
  9. Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia vandalized, more than 100 headstones toppled
  10. How has it come to this?
  11. Another day, another Muslim ban
  12. Meet ‘Based Stick Man,’ the Alt-Right’s LARP-y New Hero
  13. Mourning Oak Grove
  14. Israel: Boycotters are no longer welcome — Israel restricts visas — “If anyone insults us, we respond.”
  15. Israeli Apartheid Week in France — anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment has been high in France while Jews flee to the Israeli homeland — Under French law boycotting is illegal
  16. President Trump Vows to Give Up Denouncing Anti-Semitism for Lent
  17. In Israel, Lauding and Lamenting the Era of Trump
  18. American Liberal Jews: “staggeringly naive believing that marching at airports with signs that read “We love Muslims” will change those Muslims who hate Jews into Muslims who love Jews”
  19. Steve Cohen’s ‘That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic’
  20. Rochester Area JCC Re-Opens After Morning Bomb Threat
  21. A Sixth Wave Of Bomb Threats On Jewish Centers Also Targeted The Anti-Defamation League
  22. “The sad phenomenon of Jews accusing other Jews of provoking antisemitism can be found throughout Jewish history”
  23. Seattle Fed Says Kadima Purim Event Violates Promo Policy
  24. Donald Trump Is Not the “Least Anti-Semitic Person” Ever
  25. Switzerland funds NGOs that call for Israel’s destruction
  26. Glimmers of Hope
  27. Entire U.S. Senate Demands Trump Act on Jewish Center Threats
  28. The anti-Semitic Martin Luther
  29. So Many Hamans- Anti Semitism Rears Its Ugly Head
  30. Tomb of Purim Heroes Esther and Mordechai Still Standing in Modern-Day Persia -Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective.
  31. Why Is Purim Essential?
  32. Headlines — 3/08/17
  33. “If you talk privately to those who work in the Jewish organization world, many will confide that the greatest threat to the security of the American Jewish community is “changing demographics,” which is a euphemism for a growing population of Arab migrants to the United States”
  34. A Liberal Zionism for the Trump Era
  35. Cindy Jacobs Wants To “Harvest” The Jews
  36. Also in Media: “The View from Israel: The Inevitable Outcome of the Establishment of Palestine.”  March 7, 2017
  37. Anti-Semitism (by If we the people)
  38. Ilan Pappe asks “Am I an anti-Semite?”
  39. Four steps to reach mutual understanding
  40. In An Angry And Fearful Nation, An Outbreak Of Anti-Semitism (by K Street)
  41. Remembering Amalek’s oppression of us-and others
  42. Goucher’s Jewish community reacts to anti-Semitic attacks
  43. The Rise of Anti-Seminism
  44. In an Angry and Fearful Nation, an Outbreak of Anti-Semitism (Reprint)
  45. The Story of Esther is Now
  46. United against Freedom…
  47. Activist: ‘Let’s free England from Jewish control’
  48. “A key teaching of the Book of Esther is that once the plague of Jew-hatred gets in the air, almost any environment can nourish it”
  49. Auschwitz
  50. Alternative Reality #5: Friends Indeed: Hoteps and Neo-Nazis Unite
  51. Islamophobia and its apologists
  52. Temple De Hirsch Hosts BDS Rabbi
  53. PewDiePie, Nazi?
  54. Show your love
  55. ADL plans Silicon Valley center to fight cyberhate
  56. A Sign That Reads ‘Beware of Jews’ Appeared in London
  57. Beware of Jews
  58. The Restless Ghosts of Baiersdorf
  59. Front National: Back to Holocaust Denial
  60. YouTube Grows a Spine
  61. Labour selects anti-Semite as New Plymouth candidate
  62. The enemy inside
  63. US ‘Outraged’ by UN Report That Accuses Israel of Establishing ‘Apartheid Regime’ That ‘Dominates the Palestinian People’
  64. The Guardian: Why won’t YouTube and Google consider moderators to tackle online hate?
  65. What Type of Utopia Will Israel Be?
  66. Italian rabbis accuse biblical conference of fueling anti-Judaism
  67. 167 House members ask Trump to retain ambassador to combat anti-Semitism
  68. US Muslim vets vow to protect Jewish communities
  69. Jews Support Muslims against Trump’s border closure
  70. Organizations call for Sebastian Gorka resignation for ties to far-right group
  71. On anti-Semitism, anti-Islam and fictitious alliances in U.S.
  72. Money Sought To Protect Jewish Schools
  73. Praying for an anti- anti-Semitic Awakening
  74. Alliel – A Window Into Tribal Arrogance
  75. Jewish mentality: Charging Palestinians millions of dollars to have their homes demolished
  76. Culture Clashes Real and Imagined
  77. The Old Man and the Tortoise
  78. The Goy According To Hoenlein
  79. Lost Tribes of Israel, Blood and History
  80. Sanctuary: An Interfaith Movement
  81. Vienna – 1938
  82. Come in, Come in
  83. Not That Jewish
  84. Why Call it Judaism? The Case for Humanistic Judaism
  85. Legitimacy: the Struggle of Progressive Judaism
  86. Is Pope Francis ushering in a revival of Catholic anti-Semitism as it seeks to ally itself with Islam? Prominent Italian Rabbi Giuseppe Laras sounds the alarm
  87. Sermon: Anti-Semitism: Do We Have a Problem?

+++

13 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs