Purim and Optimism
"Mordechai, the hero of Purim and one of the deputies of Ezra the Scribe – who led a wave of Jewish ingathering from Babylon to the Land of Israel - was a role model of principle-driven optimism in defiance of colossal odds, in the face of a super power and in defiance of the Jewish establishment. The first three Hebrew letters of Mordechai (מרדכי) spell the Hebrew word “rebellion” (מרד). Mordechai did not bow to Haman, the second most powerful person in the Persian Empire. He was a member of the tribe of Benjamin, the only son of Jacob who did not bow to Esau. Mordechai was a descendant of King Saul, who defied a clear commandment to eradicate the Amalekites, sparing the life of Agag, the Amalekite king, thus precipitating further calamities upon the Jewish People. Mordechai learned from Saul’s crucial error and eliminated Haman, a descendant of Agag the Amalekite, thus sparing the Jewish People a major disaster."
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