Today is the holiday of Purim.
It is no accident that in 2015, Benjamin Netanyahu referenced Purim when delivering his powerful address to the U.S. Senate in an unsuccessful bid to curb Obama’s legitimization of a nuclear Iran.
Purim is an old ( 5th century B.C.E.) but painfully familiar story: A Jew-hater named Haman hatches a plan to annihilate the Jewish people in the ancient kingdom of Persia.
In a speech that Jews recognize all too well, Haman tells King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your realm. Their laws are different from those of every other people’s, and they do not observe the king’s laws; therefore it is not befitting the king to tolerate them.” (Esther 3:8.)
If you pay attention to the Jew-hating ravings of Democrat Ilhan Omar, you hear the echoes of Haman.
Today is the first day of Chanukah.
And here is a timeless message from Simon the Maccabee:
“We have not taken a foreign land, nor did we take the property of others — for this is the inheritance of our fathers, which was for some time unjustly possessed by our enemies. But we, having the opportunity, returned to us the inheritance of our fathers.”
— First Book of the Maccabees, 15:33-34.
“לא ארץ נוכריה לקחנו ולא ברכוש זרים משלנו, כי אם נחלת אבותינו, אשר בידי אויבינו בעת מן העיתים בלא משפט נכבשה. ואנחנו כאשר הייתה לנו עת, הושיבונו נחלת אבותינו” (ספר מקבים א, טו’ לג-לד) [Read more…] about Chanukah 2018: Same Enemies, Same Conflicts
…On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Sukkot, seven days for the L-RD… on the eighth day, there shall be a holy convocation for you. -Leviticus 23:34
Tonight begins the last days of the Succot holiday, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. We will be offline until Wednesday. We wish all our friends and relatives a joyous holiday.
The painting depicts a number of well known Rabbis from previous generations dancing with Torah scrolls on Simchat Torah — the day of rejoicing with the Torah.