Monday, September 25, 2006

Iran and Jews: History Repeats Purim

                                                                                      Nadene Goldfoot
Haman and King Ahasueros (Xerxes)  of Persia 
History from 485-465 BCE called the King of Persia Xerxes. Jews called him Ahasuerus.
So at least before 330 BCE, in Persia when King Ahasuerus was ruler, there arose a man named Hamen who had a solution for the "Jewish problem". He devised a plan to kill all Jewish men, women and chldren in a single day. This was before the Muslim religion which was only born in about 700 AD.                                                                          
Queen Esther (Hadassah) and her son, Darius 
The king had been angry with hist first wife, Vashti. She had not come and danced for his friends when he had called her, so she was banished. To replace her, King Ahasuerus had a beauty pagent held, and who won but the Jewish girl, Esther "Hadassah". Her uncle Mordechai happened to be the king’s advisor, and he advised Esther not to say anything about being Jewish. Already the Jews were having popularity problems.

One day Mordechai sensed danger for his people. He was a descendant of King Saul, and people talked freely with him. The morale of the Jews was very low. The Temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed and the nation of Judea had been conquered, and for the past 70 years the Jews were living in foreign lands, including Persia. Now there were more problems for the Jews.

A descendant of the Amaleks, an ancient tribe that fought the Jews while they followed Moses from Egypt named Hamen, lived in Persia and like his ancestors, hated the Jews. Hamen was the king’s chief minister. Actually, he resented and had a dislike for Mordechai because he felt he had an independent attitude. Because of this, he hated all the Jews. Hamen was called the Agagite, which meant that he was a descendant of Agag, king of the Amaleks. Mordechai heard of his plan to annhialate all the Jews, so he went to his niece Esther and begged her to help her people.
Queen Esther 
After fasting for three days except for eating seeds, Esther approached her husband, the king. All the Jewish people in Persia joined her in her fast to help her. She told him of Hamen’s plan and then told him that she too was Jewish. At the time she also was in disfavor and feared talking to him, but knew it was most important to do so. After listening to her, the king turned on Hamen.

He ordered that Hamen and also his ten  sons to be hung, and so they were. That ended the plan to exterminate the Jews then.

That was not the end of evil plotters who have tried to kill all the Jews in the world. Hitler was almost successful in that he killed six million Jews in Europe.

Strangely, the Persian Gulf War ended on Purim, in the year 5751 on the Jewish Calendar. Purim is the holiday that celebrates Esther's success in saving the Jews.                                                       
Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Shahab 3 missile
that they threaten to destroy Israel with by carrying atomic weapon 
Now we have Ahmadinejad, the modern day president of Iran, which used to be called Persia, stating that the solution to the Middle East problem is to destroy Israel. Perhaps he should remember what happened to Haman.

Reference: Chistopher Baysinger on "Xerxes and date" Hadassah was queen of the Sindh long before anyone ever hear of a Khazer!!!"
Your Purim Guide 1997, Chabad, Lubavitch world Headquarters, Rabbi Schneerson

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