Last Time Iraq, This Time Iran, Time For Purim

There they go again, threatening to wipe out Israel. “…We will level Tel Aviv to the ground and will not give any opportunity to Netanyahu to flee,” Mohsen Rezaie, Iran’s expediency council secretary, said recently. As did al-Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani, speaking at a Tehran ceremony, marking the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyeh. Soleimani said that the punishment for shedding Mughniyeh’s blood is “not launching one missile or killing one person, but the dismantling and uprooting of the baby-killing Zionist regime.”

Big deal. They’re just the latest in a long list of Persian/Iranian threateners starting with that evil man, Haman, continuing through Ayatollah Khomeini and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and right up to the present leadership.

Ahmadinejad suggested during “The World Without Zionism” conference in Tehran and in 2005, that Israel should be “wiped off the map.” Referring to Ayatollah Khomeini, Ahmadinejad said, “our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine.”

I guess they never heard of the Purim idea, V’Nahafoch-hu (a complete reversal of what they planned for us, coming back on their own heads). Rezaie, Soleimani and the rest of the current Iranian leadership, should read the Megilat Esther (Book of Esther) before it’s too late for Iran.

Saddam Hussein threatened Israel before them, in April 1990, to wipe out half of Israel with chemical weapons. “I swear to God, we will let our fire eat half of Israel if it tries anything against Iraq,” Saddam had said. “We don’t need an atomic bomb, [after Israel bombed Iraq’s Osirak reactor] because we have advanced chemical weapons.”

As late as 2000, Hussein was still threatening that his country could destroy Israel if it was given access to land next to the Jewish state. Stop and think for a moment: the first Gulf War in 1991, ended on erev Purim (the day before Purim). The second Gulf War in 2003, began motzei (just after) Shushan Purim. Get the picture? In between, “The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honor,” (Esther 8:16). Look what happened to Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Hussein was hanged like Haman. Get it! And, Iraq isn’t a threat to Israel anymore.

But we already knew that wars are for us – i.e., the Jews and Israel. Chazal (our sages) throughout the ages have explained the Torah, telling us that everything that happens in the world is for the benefit of the Jewish People. As it says in the Talmud, “every war in Israel is a stage in the redemption of Israel,” (Megillah 17b). The Redemption occurs in stages, war after war.

Read the Purim story in Megilat Esther again. It’s a rags to riches story on a national scale. Haman, the proto-typical anti-Semite, plans mass murder of the Jews and in the end, pays with his life, the life of his ten sons, all of whom were hanged and the Jews kill 75, 811 members of the anti-Semitic – i.e. Nazi – party of the time.

This is not so different from the Nuremberg Trials after World War II, when 23 Nazi war criminals were tried. Originally 11 of them were to get the death penalty if they were found guilty. Everybody in those days thought that they would be shot, as is customary in military executions, or get the electric chair as was common in the United States. But when the judges announced the verdict of “guilty,” they also said that hanging would be the method of execution. Two hours before the execution, they found Hermann Goering dead in his cell. He had committed suicide. Interestingly, it is said about Goering, that he liked to dress up in feminine attire. His cross-dressing and suicide would parallel Haman’s daughter who also committed suicide. That left only 10 Nazis to execute, just like Haman’s 10 sons.

There is more to this story than meets the eye. In Megilat Esther (9:7-9), when it describes the execution of Haman’s ten sons, their names are listed in a vertical column. If you look at the Hebrew closely, you’ll notice extra-small letters in three of the names. The first name, Parshandata, has a small tav. The seventh name, Parmashta, has a small shin. The tenth name, Vayzata, has a small zayn. Hebrew letters are also used as numbers, as well as for dates in the Jewish calendar. Tav, shin, zayn, which numerically is 707, correspond to the year 5707 beginning with Rosh HaShanah (the Jewish New Year) on September 25, 1946.
On October 16, 1946, as foreshadowed in the names of Haman’s ten sons, ten Nazi leaders were hanged as war criminals. And if that doesn’t impress you, out of nowhere and with the rope around his neck, Julius Schtreicher – editor of Der Sturmer, the Nazi propaganda newspaper, shouted out with flaming hatred in his eyes just as the trap door opened, “Purimfest 1946!” It was reported so in the international press of the day.
This was yet another example of the Purim idea of V’Nahafoch-hu (a complete reversal – what they planned for us, coming back on their own heads) in action.
In ancient Persia, the proto-Nazi party was wiped out, and so too, in modern times, Nazi Germany and Saddam’s Iraq were defanged. Like I said earlier, Rezaie, Soleimani, and the rest of the Iranian leadership, should read the Megilat Esther, before it’s too late for Iran… Happy Purim!