What a shocking week this has been! Closest to home: The horrific slaughter of the Fogel family in Itamar… Across the globe: The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, taking over 25,000 lives, according to the latest estimates… And of course, the Middle Eastern tremors shaking up the entire region, with the latest eruption in the shape of Qaddafi massacring his own nation.
Just two months ago, who could have written such a script? In our amazingly advanced technological world – which was supposed to order, organize and give us unprecedented control over our lives – these latest convulsions leave us reeling, exposing our profound fragility in an ever more unstable and volatile universe. Above all is the question: 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? Was he a 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.
It asks and answers the following questions: Who are the players in the current conflict in the Middle East? And how can we help them find their way to fulfill their divine mandate?