[Updated March 10, 2020]
Today is the festival of Purim, a celebration of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people from the schemes of their enemies. On this day we remember the story of the righteous Esther and Mordechai, and the demise of the evil Haman. And we rejoice because of the miracles God performed.
Today, the Jewish people face similar threats on all sides. Anti-Semitism is on the rise, the state of Israel faces enemies on all fronts, and Jews in Judea and Samaria face international and domestic pressure to forsake the land of their forefathers, which was promised to them forever by God.
The spirit of Haman is raising its ugly head again and again in places like the United Nations, in Iran (formerly Persia), and even governments, institutions and businesses in the West.
As Israel becomes increasingly isolated and targeted, we are faced with a clear choice: Will we stand with Israel or will we choose to do nothing? Will we allow Israel and the Jewish people to be attacked, vilified, and persecuted (As they have been so many times in the past, when those who should have stood and made a difference remained silent) or will we stand up for what is right?
Purim is a time of joy, but it’s also a time when we should reflect on what we stand for.
Today, no people group in the world takes as much scrutiny and international condemnation as do the Jews living in Judea and Samaria. Disregarding history, and showing utter contempt for the word of God, most nations seek to tear the Jews of Judea and Samaria from their homes and designate that land as a Palestinian state. This popular position would create anything but peace, and it denies the truth that the land does and has for thousands of years, belonged to the Jewish people.
But despite devastating acts of terror and hostility from their neighbors, and condemnation from abroad, the Jewish people continue to grow and build in their land. A recent report stated that nearly 450,000 Jews live in Judea and Samaria—A 50% increase in the last 10 years! Regardless of what the nations say and do, the Jewish residents of the Biblical Heartland have shown that they are there to stay, and thrive.
Even though most of the world stands against Israel, let us remember that it was the bold stand of a few that determined the fate of the Jewish people.
In the words of Mordechai: “…If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14
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March 12, 2019
As our congregation is preparing to celebrate Purim this coming week, we have been having that very same discussion. The evil spirit of Haman has surely raised its ugly head in these latter days.
We all need to stay vigilant in our prayers and continue to support Israel and Jews everywhere. After all, the Jewish people are the Apple of Hashem’s Eye. <3