Intermountain Jewish News

Jul 24th

We need Queen Esther today

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Where is Queen Esther when we need her?

We are witnessing an escalation of anti-Semitic activity throughout Europe. Despite legislation in several countries against anti-Semitic speech, incidents are reported every week — personal attacks, defacing of Jewish buildings, cemetery vandalism, soccer game violence. This week alone, in France, a rap musician glorified Mohammed Merah, murderer of four at a Jewish school in Toulouse, and two assailants attacked a Jewish man near a Paris synagogue. And the popularity of the Hitleresque quenelle salute grows.

Where is Queen Esther when we need her?

The age old sacred ritual of brit milah — circumcision — is under attack around the world, primarily in Europe. For centuries Jews have been able to perform one of their oldest and most precious mitzvot without government interference. Now, in country after country, anti-circumcision movements are rampant.

The same goes with Jewish ritual slaughter. Every week, another country threatens to ban the means by which Jews are able to fulfill the dietary laws set forth in the Torah, another cornerstone of Jewish observance the world over.

Where is Queen Esther when we need her?

Boycotts of Israel are popping up everywhere. The latest: Canadian students want to boycott a popular Israeli hummus because the students allege that its parent company supports the Golani Brigade, an elite division of the Israel Defense Force. The Golani Brigade, as far we know, has a sterling record, and has done nothing but defend Israel. The BDS movement is popping up everywhere, from mainstream religions to college campuses.

Where is Queen Esther when we need her?

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is threatening the sovereignty of Ukraine. Protesters are being killed and wounded. The indepedence of former Soviet republics is in jeopardy.

The list goes on.

Oh, how we could use a Queen Esther today.

Esther, the heroine of the Jewish people, who outsmarted her oppressor Haman to save the Jews of Persia, was the right woman for the right job at the right time, and for that we are truly thankful.

Purim is all about gratitude and is celebrated with unbridled frivolity. We celebrate with the notion that if it was done before, it can be done again. Somewhere out there is a Queen Esther — a person or group with the intellect and the fortitude to outwit the contemporary Hamans of the world.

Purim begins Saturday night as Shabbat ends, and continues through sundown Sunday. Seize the moment. Party like it’s 5774 . . . because, thank G-d, it is — and we can!

Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 March 2014 02:15 )  

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