A Gantze Megillah

March 11, 2022 by Michael Kuttner
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This well known Yiddish expression, usually used as a wry comment, basically means a “complicated and involved situation or state of affairs without end.”

Michael Kuttner

There are variations on this translation but I believe that the above explanation more than adequately sums up the situation we find ourselves in on the eve of Purim this year.

The connection between what transpired in Persia at the time of the Purim episode and current developments with Iran has been commented on over several past years.

Unsurprisingly all the factors which have been incubating over this time have somehow and inexorably coalesced. We find ourselves not only facing the consequences of ignoring modern-day Persian plots against Israel but also the fallout from failing to deal with dictators, tyrants and abusers of minorities and human rights.

The agenda to eliminate Jews in ancient Persia was concocted and planned over a longish period of time. First, the ground had to be meticulously prepared which meant that the populace had to be brainwashed into believing the worst of their Jewish fellow citizens. The level of assimilation was high and that helped to lull the Jews into a false sense of security. Even Esther, the heroine of the story, had to be cajoled and pressured by Mordechai in order to confront the King at the end of the day.

Hidden plots, concealed agendas and surreptitious moves were all part of the scenario. The only person who stood between disaster and redemption was a lone and courageous Jewish leader and his daring scheme to thwart the planned genocide.

If it would not have been for Mordechai and Esther’s faith and determination the end result could have been very different and we would not be celebrating Purim at all.

This year in particular we should have cause to reflect and learn the lessons of our past history in order not to be impacted by the machinations being cooked up in various places.

While the world’s attention is focused on the Ukraine/Russia crisis, back in Vienna, Biden’s negotiators are frantically scrambling to cobble together a piece of paper that will reward Iran for its cheating and enable it to attain nuclear weapons’ capabilities. No amount of pathetic pleading by Israel’s Defence Minister to the world community will at the end of the day avert a complete sellout. Proof of this is evidenced by American spokespeople affirming that “only a few loose ends need to be sorted out.” One can almost hear the sighs of relief from Washington as officials rush to wash their hands of this burden.

A report on Fox News quoted a Russian diplomat as asserting that “Iran got much more than anyone expected in the new deal.”

At the same time, the outgoing Commander of the US Central Command stated in Israel that “Iran poses the biggest threat to regional security.”

It should not be too difficult to discern which way the foul winds of appeasement and duplicitous deception are blowing. As every day passes it seems more likely that an “end of season sale” will shower the Iranian cheaters with bargain-basement inducements

Mordechai realized the threats posed by Haman and his plans of annihilation. He knew that at the end of the day it would be necessary for the Jews of Shushan and Persia to defend themselves and defeat the nefarious plots being hatched.

When we survey the feeble and pathetic gestures on the part of the democracies to defeat evil we can easily understand why the only thing that stands between the Mullahs intent on wiping out the “Zionist entity” is the determination of the Jewish State to thwart such plans.

Biden is now sucking up to Venezuela, a regime that is bosom pals with Cuba, North Korea and Iran. Instead of pleading with them for oil he should be increasing domestic supplies.

This Purim, when we read the Megillah and Haman’s name is drowned out we also need to include the names of those trying to enact a repeat of his agenda.

We also need to hope that our own leadership rises to the same challenge as displayed by Mordechai and Esther.

In the USA today 75% or more Jews vote for a Democrat Party veering more to the extreme anti-Israel left than ever before and whose leaders are woefully inadequate. Assimilation is rampant, anti-Jewish outbursts are increasing and pandering to anything but a strong Jewish identity is the norm. One looks in vain for courageous leadership.

Europe is a past graveyard for Jewish life and pouring millions of dollars into a vain attempt at resurrecting communities there which in the long run have no viable future is scandalous. Chabad is doing wonderful work in offering succour and chesed but at the end of the day the only alternative which offers any hope for the next generation is a mass move out of that blighted continent.

The biggest mistake that the Jews of ancient Persia made was to believe that they were eternally safe and tolerated. Unfortunately, the same misguided hallucinations afflict far too many today in countries that hold no meaningful future for them.

Instead of drinking to excess this Purim so that we cannot discern the difference between Haman and Mordechai it behoves every one of us to stay sober and prepare for the day after a piece of paper is waved in front of the media proclaiming “peace in our time.”

We’ve been down that disastrous path before.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.

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