Monday, March 10, 2008


As you well know, I try and learn about upcoming holidays. Usually I start sixty days in advance, because of the rule of "Shloshim Yom Kodim Lifnei Hachag", which means that thirty days before thirty days before the festival you should take things to extremes and immerse yourself in G-d. Or something like that. Anyway, the Almighty Editor asked a question on Purim. What exactly was the great Mesiras Nefesh of the Jewish people that saved them from the decree of the wicked Haman? According to the books, the reason the Jews were not exterminated was because of their great faith, that not a single one even thought about converting during the entire year leading up to Purim, despite their knowledge of the upcoming massacre that was planned. The Almighty Editor asks though, what's the big deal? Haman was dead and buried for most of the year anyway!
The thought occurred to me that we might be able to compare this to the situation the United States found itself in following President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination in 1963, or his brother Robert's in 1968. Imagine if Barack Hussein Obama was to be assassinated? You'd have the Rodney King riots times ten within twenty minutes. The country would go crazy. The anger of the proletariat would sweep through the states, killing the bourgeois within minutes.
Now let's go back to the streets of Shushan so many years ago. Haman is killed, and his loyal followers are angry. No, that's an understatement. They seethed with the burning rage of a thousand suns, compelled to exact vengeance on their mortal enemies, wiping out the Jews like vermin at a pest-control convention. So yeah, the Jews had reason to be afraid. Sure, everyone knew that the King's wife was a Jewess herself, but that would only inflame the populace. That the Jews kept their faith was extraordinary.
Does this answer the question? Possibly. Or possibly not.


Eliezer said...

In those days, the proletariat wasn't that cool about ravaging the bourgeois. And Haman wasn't killed by some anonymous gunman. He was hanged by order of the king himself. I imagine that the Haman supporters seethed quietly at home.

The Real Shliach said...

Um, we're talking about private citizens who were prepared to murder an entire nation. I don't think these people were the type to stay quiet and twiddle their thumbs.

Eliezer said...

Don't compare the Persians to American citizens. Compare them to the Eastern European poiern. They would kill any Jew they could get their hands on as long as the local galach or poritz approved. If the Tsar would suddenly decapitate the local anti-semitic galach, I think the poiern would curb their enthusiasm.

cheerio said...

nah. think about it - who was achashverosh anyway? an upstart... an ex-stable boy. peasants can be snobs on behalf of what they deem "their aristocracy". and never underestimate the power of public opinion.
this is a brilliant envisioning of what might have been the sentiments in those times. it gives me a whole new perspective.

The tzniut police said...

Yep, this was back in the day before we knew Cheerio's deep dark secret and back when TRS was pretentiously pretending to be Chassidish. What if your mushpaim fro YHTC read you current posts? Oy meh haya lanu.

The Real Shliach said...

You know, my current posts are fine. It's the strange commenters (TP1, TP2) that are the real problem.