In the Book of Esther, the wicked villian Haman proclaimed to Persian King Ahaseurus, “There is a certain people scattered and separate among the peoples throughout all the provinces of your kingdom, and their laws differ from other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws…. If it pleases the king, let it be written to destroy them. . . .”
According to a Jewish commentary on the Book of Esther, in every generation, Israel’s ancient enemy Amalek “rises to destroy us and each time he clothes himself in a different nation.”
In Esther’s day it was Amalek’s descendant Haman and the Persian Empire.
In our day, interestingly Persia (Iran) is once again the leading Amalek nation.
From a Biblical point of view, an Amalekite is a quietessential anti-Semite who is totally consumed with hatred of Israel and who exhbits a crazed obsession, as epitomized in Adolph Hitler.
The typical attitude of anti-Semites– if one Jew offends, all are hated. Haman wanted to destroy the Jews because one Jew, the righteous Mordechai, refused to bow down to Haman for religious reasons, unlike the other subjects in the Persian Empire.
Both Iran’s spiritual and political leadership have continually made outrageous statements that “with Allah’s help” the entire Jewish nation will be wiped out—just like Haman’s boast.
The Torah says the God of Israel will be at war from generation to generation with Amalek.
Exodus 17: 16, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the LORD, the LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.” In other words, because Amalek attacked the covenant people of God, Amalek had, in effect, lifted up his hand against God himself.
So how will the God of Israel deal with Iran? This year’s Purim holiday is especially due for a showdown because Iran is racing toward a nuclear threshold. Opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s urgent speech on the eve of Purim to the joint houses of Congrss shows how much the spirit of Amalek is afoot.
Meanwhile, God promises an inevitable victory over the Hamans, Herods, Hitlers and Hamas of this world.
Something as simple as a cookie proclaims it.
The hamantashen (Hamen’s ears) are in the coffee shops again. That means Purim is coming and another annual celebration of the Jews’ victory over annilihation.
A hamantash (Yiddish: המן טאש,Hebrew: אוזן המן also spelled hamentasch, pl. hamantashen or hamentaschen) is a pocket cookie triangular in shape. The shape is achieved by folding in the sides of a circular piece of dough, with a filling placed in the center. Hamantashen are filled with all sorts of fruit jams.
In Israel, hamantaschen are called oznei Haman (אוזני המן), Hebrew for “Haman’s ears” in reference to their defeated enemy’s ears. The pocket shape is also a reference to “Haman’s pockets,” symbolizing the money he offered to Ahasuerus in exchange for permission to destroy the Jews.
Documentarian Simcha Jacobovici has shown the resemblance of hamantaschen to dice (purim) from the ancient Babylonian Royal Game of Ur, thus suggesting that the pastries are meant to symbolize the pyramidal shape of the dice cast by Haman to determine the day of the massacre of the Jews. Queen Esther saved her nation through prayer, fasting and intercession.
Proverbs 16: 33 says, “The dice are thrown into the lap, but their every decision is from the LORD.”
What does this verse tell us about Haman’s dice and Iran’s nuclear threats? Man’s control over events is limited. There IS a higher power. The God of Israel overrules all things and overrules them for the best!
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