BY RICHARD SISON | 2016
Purim means "lots", from the word “pur” is a Jewish holy day that celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people during the ancient Persian Empire where a plot had been formed to annihilate them. The account has been recorded in the biblical book of Esther (known as Megillat Ester in Hebrew).
The Book of Esther described Haman, a royal adviser to King Ahasuerus (known to be Xerxes I of Persia) planned and attempted to obliterate all the Jews in the empire, but his plans were foiled by Mordecai and his adopted daughter Esther who had risen to become Queen of Persia. The supposed day of extermination became the day of deliverance and was observed with feasting and rejoicing.
Purim is celebrated every year in accordance to the instructions of Mordecai and Queen Esther (Est 9:20-21) according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th and 15th day of the Hebrew month of Adar the day following the victory of the Jews over their enemies.
However, the Jews have been persecuted centuries before the Messiah came. As a matter of fact, the Greeks through Antiochus IV Epiphanes subjugated the Jews and prevented them from performing circumcision or reading of the Torah with the punishment of death. Other well-known persecutions of the Jews were the Crusades, the Holocaust and today, the BDS.
All too often, Jewish communities have narrowly escaped catastrophe. More often than not, the plot involves an evil tyrant who follows the ways of Haman. And just like the Purim story, G‑d is there to save His people and at the end of the days, He will do it again.
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