Modern Echoes of Purim

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The Pesach (Passover) Seder serves as a constant reminderto every successive generation, that there are those who rise up to destroy the Jewish people, but God is there to save them and destroy their tormentors.The relevant evidence is very much detectable in the Book of Esther, for Haman was the one who plotted to destroy the God's chosen people. Echo of which isevident in modern times as well for there have been three significant figures, a German, a Russian, and an Iraqi, who proved as a constant threats to the Jewish people in the 20th century, and thus there are echoes of Purim in their stories as well. However there are fascinating incidents where the Nazis, Hitler and Purim are remarkably associated.

In the year 1941, Hitler banned Purim as well that of the Nazi territories. Again on 30th January, 1944Hitler addressed to Germany on the 11th anniversary of the Nazi Party, where he openly he blamed the international Jewish community for all the ills of Germany and Europe. He further stated in his speech that if Russia defeats Germany then “Jewry would celebrate the destruction of Europe by a second triumphant Purim festival”. However few years later, in an amazing turn of events, Hitler committed suicide in his trench, and thus the Jewish prisoners in the Nazi death camps were finally liberated.

Further an incredible echo of Purim is evident in the Nuremberg war crime trials. For as being mentioned in the Book of Esther, in the year 1946, Haman's ten sons were hanged (Esther 9:13), ten of Hitler's top associates were also put to death by hanging for their war crimes (including the crime of murdering 6 million Jews). One of the men seems to have been aware of the parallel,so while on his the way to the gallows, Julius Streicher shouted aloud, “Purim Fest 1946!". However it is also an interesting fact to know that in the traditional text of the Megillah (Book of Esther), amidst the list of the names of Haman's sons, the letters Tav in the first name, Shin in the seventh name and Zayin in the tenth name are written in smaller letters than the rest. The numerical value of Tav-Shin-Zayin is 707, and miraculously these ten men were hanged in the Jewish year of 5707 (the thousands digit is routinely skipped when writing Jewish years; there are no numerals for thousands in Hebrew numbering). However it should be noted they were not hanged on Purim, though for they were hanged on HoshanahRabbah; celebrated on the 7th day of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles).

Another relevant echo of Purim was fascinatingly found in the Soviet Union. For early in the year of 1953, Stalin was planning to deport most of the Jews of the  Soviet Union to Siberia, but just before his plans could materialise, he suffered from a severe stroke and finally died a few days later. And to every one’s wonder, he suffered the stroke on the night of 1st March 1953: the night after Purim.Thus the plan to deport Jews cannot finally be materialised. However the whole incident about his stroke is well explained through a story which fascinatingly explained the whole incident, for in the year 1953, the LubavitcherRebbe led a Purim gathering and was asked to bless the Jews of the Soviet Union, who were known to be in great danger. However instead of blessing, Rebbe narrated a cryptic story of a man who came to vote in the Soviet Union and thus heard people cheering for the candidate, "Hoorah! Hoorah!” The man did not want to cheer though, but was afraid, so he followed the rest and shouted "hoorah," but in his heart, he meant it in Hebrew: hura, which means, "he is evil"! Soon the crowd present at the Rebbe's 1953 gathering began chanting "hura!" regarding Stalin, and thus on that very night, Stalin suffered that fatal stroke that lead to his death a few days later.

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