“Take it from this Benjamin, it’s not about the Benjamins… It’s about values…”
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.
My father, Rabbi Chaplain Abraham Avrech, z’l, passed away on March 15, 2014, which the Jewish calendar translates into the 13th of Adar. Thus, last night — Jewish holidays begin after sundown — commenced the fifth Yahrzeit, memorial, without my father’s physical presence in this world. My father was 94 years old when he died.
He is gone, but he is certainly not forgotten.
I ponder the astonishing trajectory of my father’s life. Born in a tiny impoverished Polish town, my father and his family emigrated to America where they found the liberty to live as Jews and Americans.
The decision by the Democrats to provide cover for Ilhan Omar’s Jew-hatred is a turning point in American politics, perhaps in American history.
In the past, Jew-hatred in America was a social distaste: Jews were barred from certain country clubs, hotels, and law firms. Admission to Ivy League universities was limited by quotas.
The American government was never institutionally anti-Semitic.