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Purim, Persia and Iran


Dear Rabbi, I am worried about Iran. The news is always about Iran developing nuclear weapons and this great threat to Israel, the US and the world. Any calming thoughts for me please? Thanks! answered:

This is not the first time we are under “existential” threat. As we say each year in the Passover Seder “in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand.”

You express this serious concern just a few days before we celebrate the holiday of Purim. Some 2,500 years ago another evil Iranian named Haman threatened to destroy all the Jews in the nations of the Persian empire. We all know from the Book of Esther how one event led to another, and in the end we were spared and even rewarded.

We watch with anxiety the debate among the nations of the world, which are also fearful of Iran, as to whether sanctions are sufficient to deter the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons or there is a need to take preemptive military action. I am not a prophet and don’t know exactly what will transpire, but I believe in the promise that we recite on Passover.

However frightening the genocidal stance of this modern-day Haman seems, if we do our share we have nothing to worry about. Just as prayer, repentance and military steps led to miraculous salvation then in the time of Esther and Mordechai in Iran, likewise if we follow their ways now in our own day we are guaranteed the same promise of security.

Happy Purim!

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