The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Temple Mount and Purim (In Persian) In Thought

I find the current Muslim 'protest' over what's happening by the Har Habayis, Temple Mount, to be incredibly infuriating . . . The audacity of the Arab nations to try to wrest the holiest site in Judaism away from the Jewish people, and then pin their own sins (destroying the past) on us . . .
This video puts things in perspective.

(Hat Tip: Daled Amos)

This coming Saturday night and Sunday day marks the holiday of Purim, when we commemorate the attempted destruction of the Jewish people by the Persian Empire.

What is interesting, however, is that the very name of the holiday, Purim, is in fact not a Hebrew word, but rather one of Persian origins.

Why is that we have chosen to use a foreign word, and one of people who wished to destroy us no less, to name our holiday?

As well, we read on Purim the Megillah (scroll) of Esther –a name likewise of Persian origin, and one akin to the Hebrew word for concealment.

Even more so, the Megillah in its entirety not once makes an open reference to G-d –in the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible, it is the only one that does not have G-d's holy name!

The answer, in short, can be found in one of the many important lessons of the Purim story.

When faced with a decree, Mordechai and Esther did not use their political connections in the royal court, but rather declared a public fast. Only after the prayer and repentance had begun did Esther approach the king. Why? Because as Jewish people, they knew that ultimately G-d is the source of all things, and that only after making sure that the spiritual was in check can they then proceed to other matters. Yes, we exist in a physical world, and we must take physical action to right wrongs, but we should also know that our true salvation comes not from our fellow man, but rather from our Father in Heaven.

This then is why Purim is called with foreign name, why Esther refers to concealment and why G-d is not mentioned in the Megillah . . .

For one may claim that true in the times of the Holy Temple, in the Shtetles of Easter Europe, where we lived amongst each other, where G-dliness and piety could be felt -there one most put Judaism before all as the key to ones success. But now, a Jew in exile, a lamb amongst seventy wolves, in a time when G-dliness is not felt, where the world seems at times unfriendly and cruel, perhaps in such a situation one must rely on other, outside, factors.

In response to this question the Megillah -a book where G-d Himself is, as it were, concealed, on a holiday named in a foreign tongue- tells us that despite living in a time of concealment we must be as Mordechai and Esther in Shushan of old and stand firm in our ways, with pride and self-sacrifice, and through that and only then can we merit the greatest revelations of G-dliness as it says,

"To the Jewish people there was light, rejoicing, gladness of heart, and honor." –So may it be with us.

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