On Saturday night, March 19th, religious Jews around the world will behave in a way that violates common stereotypes of people of faith. We will wear silly, colorful costumes, consume a great deal of alcohol, exchange gift baskets and listen to raucous public readings of the one book of the Bible that never mentions God.
The holiday of Purim celebrates the deliverance from danger described in the book of Esther, and even though divine intervention is never specifically described, the complicated events clearly show the hidden hand of Providence. “Esther,” not coincidentally, comes from the Hebrew word for “hidden,” and the costumes also emphasize that the Almighty sometimes disguises his plans. Just as he used the ancient Persian Jew-hater, Haman, for a higher purpose, we can hope that God also intends a benign purpose in dealing with the latter day Persian Jew-hater, Ahmadinijad.
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