I’ve always loved Purim. The whole concept behind it is a beautiful one. It saddens me, as it does so many others, that the terror attacks and subsequent atmosphere in Brussels has caused the cancellation of Purim celebrations. But make no mistake. With or without festivities, there is no cancellation of Purim and what it represents, especially in these times.
Purim is a holiday based on events that took place in ancient Persia, now known as Iran, during a time when Persian leadership sought to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the planet. Sound familiar? It should. Besides being something that tends to happen far too often, a nation looking to rid the world of Jews, modern day Iran is testing missiles decorated with the words “Israel must be wiped out”. Hard to believe that a nation like Iran could not have evolved further from its hatred of over 2,000 years ago, yet here we are again.
Of course what makes matters worse is that the cancellation of festivities is not directly connected to Iran. After the most recent brutal attack by ISIS and the attacks in Paris, it is a wise bit of caution to consider European Jews to be in some significant danger. That too should sound familiar, as I am sure it does. Europeans need to wise up to the dangers facing them, because last time they took a “levelheaded” and patient approach to rising fascism and violence, the continent was left in shambles.
The most beautiful thing about the story of Purim for me was always the fact that it is a story in which the Jewish people did not have to suffer greatly before their redemption. It’s impossible to know how today’s travails will end up, but if history is to repeat itself, my prayer for this Purim, is that the establishment of liberty and freedom for all people in the world, not just Jews, can happen with limited additional suffering. In the meantime to my fellow Jews I urge you to remember this. Even when the celebration is cancelled, Purim never is.
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