The Lost Purim of Israel
The Jewish holiday of Purim (Farsi for “lots) is not one of the Appointed Times of the Creator listed in Leviticus 23, nevertheless, it is a joyful holiday for all Jews around the world. It is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar (according to the Rabbinic calendar), or the 12th month of the Biblical calendar.
Purim commemorates the deliverance of Jews in the Persian empire from the notorious anti-Semite Haman, who was not the first and unfortunately not the last Jew-hater in the history.
In the Book of Esther, we find Haman’s plot to annihilate all the Jews in one day. His plot to completely destroy the Jewish population in Persia failed miserably for him and his sons. Since then, Purim is designated as a holiday in Israel and rightly so.
Today, however, Purim in Israel has been turned into what we can call something between Brazilian fiesta and “Jewish Halloween”. While celebrations and carnivals are fine and good, regrettably, this holiday has been distorted in our modern world, and little is known about its true meaning.
The question we need to ask is imperative: “Why were the Jews still in the Persian Empire decades after King Koresh’s decree?” We should recall that the king’s decree allowed all Jews to return to their homeland and build Jerusalem and the Temple, but only about 42,000 returned with Zerubbabel.
Like the forefathers in Egypt, the Jews felt better “Persians” than the Persians themselves and decided to stay “home”, while their brothers and sisters were building the walls of Jerusalem. Nothing has changed since then; today, there are Jews who are better “Americans” than the Americans, and better “Europeans” than the Europeans.
A careful reading of the Book of Esther and historically preceding the books of Daniel, Nehemiah, and Ezra suggests that Jewish life in Persia was undisturbed and tranquil until a villain person appeared on the scene: Haman.
The story does not explicitly state what the people did to deserve the threat of annihilation. When viewed in historical context, it becomes clear that they were guilty of not having returned to the Land of Israel when they had the opportunity to do so.
This is the real story about Purim.
After King Nevukadnetsar plundered Jerusalem, killed its inhabitants by thousands, destroyed the Temple, and took into exile those who survived.
The next seventy years were not oppressive for the people of Elohim in Babylon although they wept by the rivers of Babylon (Psa 137:1-6). Many of them followed the advice of the prophet Yirmeyahu and built houses and businesses (Jer 29:3-7). Some of them even arose to positions of distinction in the empire (Dan 2:48; Neh 1:1-11).
The Jews lived a prosperous life in Babylon until the Persians conquered the empire with which the seventy years of exile came to its end, when the land had completed its due rest.
King Koresh of Persia issued a decree that those of the Jews who wanted to return to their land were free to do so and even sent them with all necessary means and the Temple treasures to rebuilt Yerushalayim and the Temple.
But not all Jews were willing to return to the homeland. Only a fraction of the Jewish population left and returned to rebuild the city; that was the first but partial return of Yehudah to the land under Zerubbabel. There were three more waves of return of the exile, while the majority preferred to stay “home”. For more information, refer to Chapter The End of the Babylonian Exile and the First Return of the book The Reckoning of Time.
The Book of Esther is a tale about the Jewish life in the diaspora. In many ways, Esther tells a different story from what we are usually accustomed to hear, namely, that the assimilation in the diaspora is not so new.
The main characters in the tale, Esther and Mordechai, are absorbed into a deep assimilation. The remaining Jews of the diaspora followed no Torah practices to the point of becoming unidentifiable as Jews. In the diaspora, YHVH was not their Elohim (visible or not), and for this reason His Name is not present into the Hebrew text of the book.
And YHVH said to Mosheh that the people would whore after the idols of a foreign land and forsake His Covenant,
Then My displeasure shall burn against them in that day, and I shall forsake them and hide My face from them, and they shall be consumed. And many evils and distresses shall come upon them, and it shall be said in that day, “Is it not because our Elohim is not in our midst that these evils have come upon us?” And I shall certainly hide My face in that day, because of all the evil which they have done, for they shall turn to other gods. (Deu 31:16-18)
The Jewishness of the people was so undetectable that Esther and Mordechai were able to hide it from the Persians. Even when Esther became the queen of Persia, King Achashverosh was unable to identify her as Jewish, nor was the anti-Semite Haman. The same can be said about Mordechai who was sitting at the palace gate implying that he was a low-level court official well-settled in the Persian empire.
Does this not explain why the Name of YHVH is not in the book and why it was given this name (Esther in Hebrew means “hidden”).
Everything was good until the day Haman plotted his plan for extermination of all Jews in the empire.
The King agreed to Haman’s suggestion to murder all the Jews in one single day in the 127 provinces: something that such an evil like Hitler could not have achieved. The question is how could Haman have completed that Holocaust?
The answer can be found in the fact that that was unachievable without the locals among whom the Jews lived in and who were the primary force of the Holocaust; Haman was “merely” the instigator.
As in the forced conversions to Christianity in the medieval centuries, in the pogroms in tsarist Russia and later throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, they were perpetrated by “God-fearing” Christians, ordinary people like Russians, Ukrainians, Germans, Dutch, and many other “decent” people who were willing to help the authorities, as the Persians did. Hitler was “merely” the instigator.
Read more about The True Purim and the Untold Truth of Time of Reckoning Ministry.
Knowledge known to only a few will die out. If you feel blessed by these teachings of Time of Reckoning Ministry, help spread the word!
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days!