As usual, it is immensely difficult for me to let go of a chag*. Purim** came like a lion, and also went out like a lion (as opposed to a lamb)! The chag, for me, was filled with meaning and mitzvot, and great portent for the future, in the light of events and developments in Iran, who's evil leader Ahmadinejad has threatened Israel existentially. Although both my husband and daughter--D.H. and Toodles respectively--say that this is pish-tosh: like, Jews have been threatened in every generation and decade so, buddy, what else is new?!
I understand where they're coming from, but my opinion differs. I think these times-- partially because of radical Islamists' terrorist attacks globally, the rise of antisemitism's ugly head all over the world, combined with nuclear weapons development and proliferation by rogue nations (read: Pakistan, North Korea, and now Iran)--are much more dangerous and have greater portent than in the past.
So Purim, the story of the planned annihilation of the Jewish People in the times of the Great Persian Empire by the evil Haman, and the subsequent cancellation of that evil decree and it's reversal (Haman was hung on the tree on which he intended to hang Mordechai) by seemingly coincidental serendipitous, miraculous events, has great meaning for me.
Reading Megillat Esther* sent a shudder through me; I was seeing the story unfolding in the perspective of the twenty-first century and our troubling times ("...it was the best of times, it was the worst of times...")
With Israel being vilified at every turn, and being condemned for doing the world's dirty work (read: possibly assassinating Hamas arms supplier in Dubai) which the other nations are afraid to do--or worse, don't care about doing--themselves, I can only hope and pray that we are being led into an era where, when crunch time comes (and it is coming, believe me), we will be witness to "coincidental, serendipitous, miraculous" events, Amen, Ken Yehi Ratzon.*
**Purim artwork by David Sokoloff, as seen on Chabad.org
*chag: Hebrew for "holiday."
*Megillat Esther: The Scroll of Esther
*ken yehi ratzon: may it be His will