Purim in Persia and Iran

During his visit to the White House on March 5, 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave President Barack Obama a copy of the Book of Esther (the Megillah), the biblical story of the plan by the chief minister of the great Persian Empire to annihilate all the Jews in the kingdom. To understand the Middle East today, it’s worth reading. The story relates that the King Ahasuerus (perhaps Xerxes 1), after executing his wife Queen Vashti, married Esther who did not mention she was Jewish. Haman, the king’s vizier (chief adviser), was annoyed that Mordechai, her cousin, had refused to bow to him. As a result, Haman convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all Jews. This genocide was to be implemented on one day, the 13th of the Hebrew month of Adar, a date chose by lot (in Persian, pur) Haman’s behavior was a harbinger of both Nazi ideology and the paranoia of Joseph Stalin. His words echo those of Adolf Hitler: “There is...(Read Full Article)