There have been many comparisons drawn between the Purim story that we are in the midst of celebrating and the historical events that are currently playing out on the world stage. In the Purim story, the Jewish nation was faced with an existential threat emanating from the ancient Persian Empire. Today, the Jewish nation is once more facing an existential threat from the modern day Persian Empire, Iran, this time in the form of potential nuclear weapons. In the Purim story, a Jewish leader, Esther, accepted upon herself to break protocol and appear before the King, unsummoned, in order to plead on behalf of her people. Today, a Jewish leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, broke protocol and appeared in the chambers of the US Congress to plead on behalf of his people.
But there is a glaring contrast between the Purim story that happened long ago and the current events. Benjamin Netanyahu argued that we should not really be sitting down with Iran at the negotiating table at all. Esther, on the other hand, invited the enemy of the Jewish people, Haman, to sit down with her at the same table at a party with Achashveirosh. Why did Esther invite Haman to the party? What was she trying to accomplish? Continue reading From Esther to Netanyahu: A Lesson Stretching 2.5 Millennia