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One last thing….
ByPAMELA GELLER on March 3, 2015
IRAN ISRAEL: THE JIHAD AGAINST THE JEWS THE GIFT OF THE JEWS
We’re an ancient people. In our nearly 4,000 years of history, many have tried repeatedly to destroy the Jewish people. Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we’ll read the Book of Esther. We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.
The plot was foiled. Our people were saved.
Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spews the oldest hatred, the oldest hatred of anti-Semitism with the newest technology. He tweets that Israel must be annihilated — he tweets. You know, in Iran, there isn’t exactly free Internet. But he tweets in English that Israel must be destroyed…… Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking to the Joint Session of Congress today
For those who believe that Iran threatens the Jewish state, but not the Jewish people, listen to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, Iran’s chief terrorist proxy. He said: If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of chasing them down around the world…. Benjamin Netanyahu in his speech to the Joint Session of Congress today
For my people, Purim approaches. A young Jewish girl whom I adore reminded me of this: Netanyahu spoke to the Congress without the President’s invitation, just as Queen Esther spoke without the King’s invitation to plead the cause of the Jewish people who were singled out for annihilation by a man — Haman (or in this case the Ayatollah) from Persia (Iran), on the day before Purim. The holiday commemorates what seemingly is more like the hand of G-d. Purim is the Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire (Iran), where a plot had been formed to destroy them.
Netanyahu speaking without the king’s (Obama’s invitation) to plead the cause of the Jewish people on the eve of Purim was destiny, it seems.
Above engraving: François de Poilly, Esther before Ahasuerus, after Nicolas Poussin, 1680, engraving with etching.
Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination.
The Book of Esther
The story of Purim is told in the Biblical book of Esther. The heroes of the story are Esther, a beautiful young Jewish woman living in Persia, and her cousin Mordecai, who raised her as if she were his daughter. Esther was taken to the house of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, to become part of his harem. King Ahasuerus loved Esther more than his other women and made Esther queen, but the king did not know that Esther was a Jew, because Mordecai told her not to reveal her identity.
The villain of the story is Haman, an arrogant, egotistical advisor to the king. Haman hated Mordecai because Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, so Haman plotted to destroy the Jewish people. In a speech that is all too familiar to Jews, Haman told the king, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your realm. Their laws are different from those of every other people’s, and they do not observe the king’s laws; therefore it is not befitting the king to tolerate them.” Esther 3:8. The king gave the fate of the Jewish people to Haman, to do as he pleased to them. Haman planned to exterminate all of the Jews.
Mordecai persuaded Esther to speak to the king on behalf of the Jewish people. This was a dangerous thing for Esther to do, because anyone who came into the king’s presence without being summoned could be put to death, and she had not been summoned. Esther fasted for three days to prepare herself, then went into the king. He welcomed her. Later, she told him of Haman’s plot against her people. The Jewish people were saved, and Haman and his ten sons were hanged on the gallows that had been prepared for Mordecai.
estherA 1651 painting by the Dutch artist Jan Victors depicts the scene from the Book of Esther in which the queen confronts Haman at a banquet with her husband
America and the Jews
This morning, Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel delivered a historic address to the Congress of the United States of America. He alluded to the face of Moses staring down upon the chamber but neglected to mention that Moses is the only face depicted full-on rather than in profile. Moses enjoys special placement in America’s great hall of government.
Over 200 years ago, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson proposed depicting the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt upon the Great Seal of the United States. How remarkable that the new world should consider featuring on its great seal, the Israelites, a nation so symbolic of the old world. They associated the birth of America with the Hebrews for the same reason that motivates many Americans today to view Israel and the Jews in a special light
No country has been a more stalwart friend of Israel than America and no other society has ever been more hospitable to its Jewish population. In no other nation has any Jewish community enjoyed a longer period of tranquillity and affluence. The bond between America and her Jews is so conspicuous that it has even attracted foreign attention. Hundreds of books have been published in Europe, Asia and many Islamic countries, that chronicle the extraordinary prominence that Jews enjoy in America. Life has been good for American Jews.
One explanation often advanced to account for the hospitality enjoyed by America’s Jews has been the size of the American Jewish community and its economic and political influence. In other words, the argument goes, America has been good to her Jews because their power has allowed her little alternative. In addition to demonstrating astonishing ingratitude, this argument is as wrong headed as claiming that turning on street lights causes the sun to set. A moment’s reflection reveals that American Jews have achieved affluence and political prominence precisely because of the security and tranquillity they have enjoyed here for so many years.
Furthermore, if, as some claim, America’s support for Israel were based entirely on political expediency, that support would originate from the State Department. It does not. Instead, it springs from the Christian heartland of America and from the deep commitment to Judeo-Christian values felt by so many Americans.
Americans’ fondness for Judaism and Israel manifests itself in those politicians who can least be said to preside over major centers of Jewish culture. For example, it is hard to make the case that Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Robert Pittenger support Israel in order to placate the large number of Jewish voters in Texas and North Carolina. It is clearly Christian commitment to the Bible that lies behind America’s affinity and friendship for Judaism.
The real bond linking American civilization and the Jews is that they are the only two nations founded on an idea rather than on a land. Judaism and America were founded on commitment to the loving God of Abraham and to freedom from human tyranny. Furthermore, they are the only two peoples that foreigners can join with all subsequent rights. Just try to become accepted as a naturalized Englishman, Frenchman, Swiss or Japanese. However if one becomes a naturalized American or converts to Judaism, one becomes a full American or a full Jew with all rights, save one: a convert to Judaism cannot become king, and a naturalized American cannot attain the presidency.
Shortly after the founding of both the American and the Jewish peoples, each experienced a horrendous civil war. Both the war between the North and the South and the war between Judah and Israel were over moral issues and both nations emerged from their travails stronger than they had been before.
Only two countries, America and Israel, swing their doors open wide to welcome even poor and down-trodden immigrants who share their ideals.
The founders of America, the Pilgrims, were called “separatists.” Similarly the early Jews, Abraham and his family, were called “Ivrim”-Hebrews, or in English- “separatists.”
The first settlers in both America and Israel found primitive populations who knew nothing of the God of Abraham. Both America and Israel eventually built their capital cities in a manner designed to guarantee equal access for all. Neither Washington DC. nor Jerusalem belongs exclusively to any one state or tribe.
Jacob launched the Jewish people by replacing his son Joseph with Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Menashe. “They will be to me like Reuben and Shimon” said Jacob, thus changing the twelve tribes into thirteen. (Genesis 49:5) Similarly, the twelve colonies launched their great enterprise, the United States, once Rhode Island became the 13th original colony. Evidently the founding fathers knew that the number of elements required for the founding of a holy nation had to be increased from twelve to thirteen.
Our currency expresses this important idea that unity has its origin in thirteen. The phrase e pluribus unum, printed above the eagle on the one dollar bill, contains thirteen letters, as does the phrase annuit coeptis printed above the pyramid. There are thirteen layers of stone in that pyramid, thirteen stars above the eagle’s head and thirteen stripes upon its breast. There are thirteen arrows clutched in one talon and thirteen olives upon the olive branches in the other. And all this symbolism of thirteen is found only on the one dollar bill. In Hebrew, a language which associates a numerical value with each letter of the alphabet, the word for “One,” Echad, possesses a numerical equivalent of thirteen.
The intrinsic similarity between these two great nations was not lost on the early Americans. Neither is it lost on their descendants, so many of whom still share a devotion to the Judeo-Christian principles that fueled our nation’s earliest visions. Robert Frost’s, The Gift Outright and John Winthrop’s, Citie on the Hill are only two of the many literary examples that reflect this deep spiritual bond that links Judaism and the American dream.
The graciousness extended by most Americans towards their Jewish friends is not the result of having been intimidated by those friends into a mood of sullen acceptance. It is a wholehearted embrace surrounding one sentiment best expressed by the Scriptural words, “and I will bless those that bless you and those that curse you, will I curse.” (Genesis 12:3) Many Americans still revere those words as they do God Almighty who spoke them. American Jews have always been the beneficiaries of that sentiment. The joyous serenity of life experienced by American Jews is safe only for as long as most Americans continue to subscribe to that Biblical sentiment.
See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2015/03/one-last-thing.html/#sthash.takVw1Sd.dpuf
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