Dominating headlines is what steps should be taken to counter the Iranian nuclear threat. At this past week’s Aipac conference everyone, from President Obama to the Republican hopefuls, weighed in what strategy we should be employing.
Perhaps they – and all of us – can learn something about Persian threats today from events in Persia 2368 years ago! How uncanny is it that Persia (Iran) today poses a threat to the Jewish people just as Persia did over two millenia ago in the times of Purim?! Even the names are similar: Achashverosh and Haman then; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pronounced in Arabic as Achmadinejad) today. Who could have written such a script? Above all: What lies ahead? Can we find some comfort and security?
Fascinatingly, these events are taking place right around Purim – a holiday that celebrates God’s hidden hand behind world events. Purim teaches us that, when we connect the dots, amazing patterns emerge leading us to… salvation.
This is a two part sermon:
Part I: “Two Faces of a Mysterious King” seeks to unlock the enigma of King Achashverosh of Persia. Was he a villain or hero? Or was he just an idiot who couldn’t make up his mind?
First, he sided with Haman in his genocidal plot against the Jews. Then, he sided with Esther and Mordechai and, because of him, instead of Purim being a day of tragedy for the Jews, it became a day of celebration. So what are we to make of all this waffling?
Part II: “Patterns in Time” seeks to take the enigma of Achashverosh – and indeed that of the holiday of Purim – further. It seeks to connect the dots – the pixels of history – to create a bigger picture.