PURIM IN OUR TIME
By Michael Wodlinger, Quebec Representative
These events took place during the days of Ahasuerus,
who ruled 127 provinces from India to Cush.
Do you know the story of Purim, the Jewish festival commemorating the defeat of antisemites in Persia? If you don’t, I urge you to read the full account as it is recorded in the Book of Esther.
However, today my focus is not on the past, but the present and the need we have today for another Esther.
Throughout the world, antisemitism is rising. In Germany, right-wing groups (some following neo-nazi dogma) are growing in number and are threatening – again – the security of the Jewish population. In North America, we are witnessing an increase in incidents of vandalism of Jewish synagogues, homes and cemeteries. Although these acts are still relatively few in number and there are no overtly antisemitic political groups in existence, the trend is abundantly clear. We are on the edge of another wave of hateful sentiment and action against God’s chosen people.
Why is this?
Over the centuries, there have been times when people lived in security and socialized without suspicion. There were times of relative peace between Jew and non-Jew. However, whenever a threat to this time of security became apparent, some would look for a cause. Often the cause they identified was the Jew.
Today, the antisemitic focus is often on the alleged mistreatment of the Palestinians who live in the so-called West Bank. This mistreatment, seen through Western eyes, is not really shared by those Arabs who hold Israeli citizenship, living and working in Israel. Their wealth is increasing and their security is much more stable in Israel than it ever was in any other Middle East country.
So, who is complaining? Who is rising against the Israeli establishment? As is often the case, it is unemployed youth who want what others have but, for whatever reason, are unable to achieve their desires. We also find the Palestinian school system indoctrinating their youth in violence against Israel and its people.
As we have seen all too well, the propaganda machine of the Palestinians is well-oiled. It is fueled by the unachieved desires of those who have chosen to live in sub-standard conditions. It is financed through the contributions of many in North America and Europe who have been misled by the ‘news’ originating in the ‘occupied territories.’
How then do we stand in opposition to their stated desire “to wipe Israel off the face of the earth?”
As I look upon the situation in the Middle East, I am acutely aware of the events which will quite soon occur. Adonai Yeshua’s (the Lord Jesus) return must be preceded by a period of chaos and destruction. This has been prophesied in both the Hebrew and Apostolic Scriptures (the Old and New Testaments).
Our role is to speak out within our communities, helping others to fully understand what is happening within Israel. We must combat the propaganda spreading out from those who would destroy God’s people. We must stand up to those who would spread hate towards any people but, right now, especially toward our Jewish brothers and sisters.
I pray that God will grant you the strength and the resolve to be part of the solution. Perhaps you, reading this blog today, are the Esther we need.
May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.