There always existed Jews who delude themselves into thinking that if only we could bring down the walls between us and the Gentiles, we could live together in peace, and anti-Semitism would disappear. What these self-hating, guilt-ridden Jews do, in essence, is blame the anti-Semitism on the Jews themselves, who distinguish themselves from the Gentile and are not willing to assimilate. But the fact is that the very opposite is true. History has proven that precisely when the Jew tried to get close to the Gentile, a wave of vicious and “unexpected” anti-Semitism would explode, bringing with it pogroms and holocausts. In Germany, Jews had stopped referring to themselves as Jews and called themselves Germans of the Mosaic persuasion. More Jews died defending the Father Land in WW1 than in all the wars of Israel. German Jews were the epitome of assimilated Jews prior to the Holocaust.
The Torah and our sages teach us about this strange law of nature, and we see a perfect example in the Megilat Esther, and the story of Purim. The story in the book of Esther centers around two major events; the sin of the Jewish participation at Achashverosh’s party, and the intentional provoking of Haman by Mordechai who would deliberately wait at the gates which Haman had to pass, and then would refuse to bow down to him.
Is there a connection between these two events? What could the participation in Shushan’s banquet and Mordechai’s provocation have in common? Many have difficulty understanding Mordechai’s deliberate instigation of Haman. Why did he have to hang out at that very spot, looking for trouble? How could have Mordechai behaved in such an “irresponsible” manner towards this known Jew-hater? For them, it is obvious that it was Mordechai who caused the evil edict which called for the extermination of the Jews! The sages teach us otherwise, explaining that the Megilah opens with the story of Achashverosh’s banquet to indicate that the real cause of the evil decree against the Jews was divine punishment for the pathetic participation of the Jewish community at Achashverosh’s party.
Why did they take part in the feast in the first place? They thought that banning such an event which was to be attended by all the nations of the Empire, would make the Jews stand out and would incur the wrath of the nations. They thought that Jewish participation in the feast would help bring down the barriers, relieve tension and help put a halt to anti-Semitism. Mordechai and those faithful to Torah knew that assimilation and liaison to the Gentile not only does not ease anti-Semitism, but strangely enough intensifies it. They knew that there is a clear Torah prohibition against partaking in such a meal. This commandment is intended to prevent assimilation and the muddling of Jewish identity and uniqueness.
We can now understand Mordechai’s “extremism”. Mordechai understood that the direction the Jews of his generation were going in would surely lead to Divine Punishment. Thus, he took the zealous route. He purposely provoked Haman with the knowledge that this would infuriate him and provoke a reaction which would shock all of assimilated Persian Jewry. Mordechai knew his actions could not bring harm to the Jews, in the long run. He knew his act of faith could only lead to the awakening of Jews to their grave mistake of assimilating (which is indeed what happened when the whole nation of Israel joined Mordechai’s call for three days of fast and prayer). This was the only way to cancel the evil decree.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay The Same
Today’s peace process is nothing more than a modern banquet of Achashverosh, except this time it has been initiated by the Jews. The goal is to create a “New Middle East” which means the erasing of the Jewish character of the state in an attempt to merge, and turn Israel into a nation like all others. This plot to wipe out anything distinctly Jewish will not succeed in buying the love of the Gentiles, nor will it bring us peace. The Interfaith programs of the ADL and AJC, and the New Middle East of Shimon Peres will only exacerbate the very hatred and tensions they seek to diffuse. The Jewish way is the way of “Mordechai HaYehudi” – separation, and not assimilation.
Today, after the fatal bombing in Jerusalem we are once again reminded what the outcome of our “peace” with our neighbors will produce. The only answer is a real separation between Jews and the hostile Arabs who live in our midst. Peres speaks of building a fence around the Green Line, yet ignores the Arab threat within the Green Line. The Likud and the other “right wing” parties still speak of coexistence between Jews and Arabs. The Jewish way is our way and the way of “Mordechai HaYehudi” – separation now!
Skull-Cap Donning Hellenists
Legend has it that the late Professor Yeshiyahu Leibowitz was not particularly fond of the holiday of Purim. In order to evade this barbaric festival, it was his custom to travel to Jerusalem on the 14th of Adar, and on the 15th he would return to Ramat Gan. In an interview last year, his son denied this famous folklore, but admitted that it found its source in the fact that his father abhorred one of the verses in the Megilat Esther, and would skip over it during the reading. (We will bring the verse shortly)
Anyone who knows us, knows full well that when a hellenist (with or without a yamulke) rises up and goes against something in Torah, we will immediately become quite fond of that particular something. For Torah is complete perfection, and if it is not complete, it is not Torah. One who denies even one verse or word of Torah is denying all of the Torah. The Torah is not a supermarket where one picks and chooses.
The professor would have preferred that the Megilat Esther deal only in the “positive aspects”. The idea of Jews killing their enemies was repulsive to him. But did anyone ever pay attention to the fact that almost all Jewish holidays involve to a large extent confrontations with Gentiles, our separation from them and our exacting of vengeance upon them? Take a look: Hanukah – Greeks; Purim – Persians; Passover – Egyptians. Even regarding the Holiday of Shavuot, the rabbis tell us that from Mount Sinai, the hatred of the gentile originated (and thus the Hebrew word for hate and “Sinai” are of the same root). Food for thought, no?
Last but not least, here is the “banned” verse. (Despite the fact that this verse constitutes a violation of the following laws: revolution, incitement, racism, assisting terror, use of free speech for prohibited goals, we will take the risk and present it for all the Shin Bet to see): “And the king said to Esther the queen, the Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the capital, and also the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the kings provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what more dost thou request? and it shall be done. Then Esther said, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do tomorrow also according to this day’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.” The result of Esther’s request was 75,000 dead gentiles. I ask you, is that nice?