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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

What is Purim & Why It Matters

PURIM STORYThe Jewish holiday of Purim is little known in the world-at-large, yet its significance is massive. In 586 BC, the Jewish people had their Temple in Jerusalem destroyed by the invading armies of King Nebuchadnezzar. Years later, Babylon falls to the Medes and Persians. Living in captivity and exile in Babylon and Persia (modern-day Iran and Iraq), King Ahasuerus now rules over a vast 127 provinces.

The king ends up marrying Esther, while her identity as a Jewish orphan is hidden from him. queen-esther-with-mordecaiHaman serves as his prime minister. He hates the Jews and issues a “Final Solution” to have them slaughtered. Through Esther’s prayer and intervention, the decree is overturned and on this day (the 13th of the Jewish month Adar), the Jewish people experience victory over their enemies, being allowed to live while Haman is hanged.

Today is Purim, which the Book of Esther in the Bible chronicles. The name “Purim” means Israel_smlots, because Haman cast lots to determine which day would be most auspicious for the destruction of the Jewish people. Instead, what he planned for others happened to him, which could be a message to the enemies of Israel today.

Prime Minister Netanyahu referenced Purim in his recent speech before the US Congress.

I remember well living on a study sabbatical in gulf_war_4Israel during the first half of 1991 as Gulf War I raged. Gas mask in hand, air raid sirens sounding several times each night sending us running to sealed rooms and strapping on the mask for hours on end, it was a difficult time. For weeks it stretched on. The US asked Israel not to fight back as they were hammered by missiles night after night, and as the allies fought Iraq over their invasion of Kuwait. Israel helped the allies by supplying troops with night-vision goggles and mine plows to traverse minefields.

purimyahuYet, imagine everyone’s joy when on February 28, 1991, the US declared a ceasefire in the Gulf, giving the Jewish people a victory over their enemies on the very Feast of Esther (Purim).

A dozen years later, bombing of Iraq and the second Gulf War began exactly on the second day of Purim, March 19-20, 2003. The US and its allies were bombing Iraq once again.

History has a way of repeating itself. The purim-300x201enemies of Israel, whether Hamas, Al Qaeda, Iran, or any others should take note.

“Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 124:4).

Happy Purim, everyone!

Now, off to find some hamantaschen cookies….

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