Bibi as Mordechai

Bibi as Mordechai

Your March 6th editorial, “What Really Matters,” acknowledges the existential danger Iran poses to Israel. Yet, while you begrudgingly concede the “good speech” that Prime Minister Netanyahu gave, your editorial in whole is quite judgmental, overly critical, and exceedingly cynical. You suggest that Bibi’s motive was political, and that the overall effect of his appeal was not positive, perhaps even harmful to other relationships, presumably that with the United States, as if it is merely one-sided.

Bibi’s speech was delivered two days before Purim, whose theme is how the Jewish people were unified in the face of the threat of extinction, and the orchestration of the events by God manifested in pure happenstance.

The Talmud says that one who reads the Megillah (Book of Esther) backward has not fulfilled the mitzvah. The seventeenth century Jewish sage and mystic the Baal Shem Tov explains the statement that anyone who reads the Purim narrative as if it happened “back then,” meaning thousands of years in the past, has not fulfilled the mitzvah, which demands of us to read and see the story as if it is unfolding and playing itself out in actuality today from the beginning of the story through the ending.

Purim is the story of our lives. It is a hidden script choreographed by the Divine, who remains hidden behind the lattice. Perhaps the real significance of Bibi’s momentous speech should be measured by the Purim story. Regardless of one’s political preference, Netanyahu is still the prime minister and spokesman of world Jewry. He is a modern Mordechai, warning us of the danger of a modern Haman. The rest is history. We should all be mindful and feel proud of Bibi reminding us and the whole world of this lesson in history. Perhaps that is truly what really matters.