Who Speaks for the Jewish People?
This morning before the United States Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech that he had earlier described as his opportunity to speak on behalf of the Jewish people. The Prime Minister spoke eloquently, making a powerful claim that standing against the nuclear ambitions of Iran was tantamount to standing with the Jewish people and the State of Israel against those who seek our destruction.
As the speech and its timing became more and more the centerpiece of the conversation, comparisons with tomorrow's holiday of Purim have become commonplace, and the linking of PM Netanyahu's mission and the story of Esther's courage in speaking out against Haman has seemed inevitable.
And in fact, the Prime Minister did not hold back from making the analogy:
A courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies. The plot was foiled, our people were saved. Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us.
As the Purim holiday itself arrives, however, it is worthwhile to think about how, for all the very real danger a nuclear Iran poses and for all the perceived similarities in the cast of characters, the story told on Purim teaches what it means to overturn a deadly threat in a very different way. ....read the rest
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