As I’m reading the Megillah, something in the story really began to bother me.
Something quite scary.
What actually changed in the end?
Mordechai did nothing more than send out an official letter to the Jews that they should defend themselves against the oncoming onslaught.
Does this mean the Jews were not going to defend themselves?
Were they were going to be good, quiet citizens and go like sheep to the slaughter?
Were they were going to let Amalek
Were they so afraid to go against the goyim, the authorities or the establishment?
I think the answer is yes, they were not going to defend themselves.
I think the Jews of Purim were going to passively participate in their own destruction.
Perhaps no different than when we waited on the shores of Yam Suf (millions of people, armed to the teeth) while a mere few hundred Egyptian chariots chased after them (or other historical events of more recent vintage).
Perhaps that is an important message of Purim (and Chanukah too for that matter, though Purim really shows how far it goes).
The message here is that the Jews as a group always have the ability to defend ourselves. What we lack is the will .
Nothing changed in Mordechai’s message, except they suddenly got permission from the authorities to not die passively.
Why did they need that “permission”?
They didn’t, but they thought they did, just like we thought we did in so many other recent and historical attacks against our people. Just like we think today.
Perhaps we need a “leader” to rally around as a group. But perhaps not, as we saw Esther was willing to play her role as an individual (with the spiritual backup of the nation).
Mordechai certainly wasn’t leading the revolt directly (so it seems), but he did stand up (literally) for what was right.
We as individuals have to do the right thing when it comes to protecting our nation, and we as a group can not be afraid to fully and completely defend ourselves against our enemies.
Only after the Jews absolutely defend themselves, do we suddenly we see
In short, nothing changed before or after Mordechai’s letter, only our internal perception of the events and our ability to change our environment and future.
That is my lesson to you this Purim.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד