Father and son. (shutterstock) shutterstock
Father and son


The message of Purim is a microcosm of Jewish history and the repeated Jewish threat to our existence, not merely from the outside, but the threat to our existence from assimilation.

By Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel

The holiday of Purim is but another episode in the never-ending attempt to exterminate the Jewish people or make them assimilate. Let’s focus on Purim’s connection to modern day assimilation.

The Talmud says that the Jewish people would have actually been deserving of Haman’s extermination if it had actually happened! Why? Because the Jewish people attended the original feast of Achashverosh! Huh? Deserving of extermination? For attending a party? And if the food wasn’t kosher, would that make them deserving of death? What’s going on?

It is explained that the true reason for Achashverosh’s party was his belief that the Jews were no longer the chosen people and that their Temple in Jerusalem would no longer be rebuilt. There was a known prophecy that after 70 years in exile the Jewish people would be redeemed, returned to Jerusalem, and the Temple rebuilt. According to Achashverosh’s calculations, the 70 years passed. The Jews had been abandoned by God, he thought. So let the party begin. (Of course, Achashverosh miscalculated and the Temple was indeed rebuilt a few years later!)

Apparently, the Jews knew the reason for the party and they didn’t care. The free food and drink were all they cared about. They didn’t care about their Jewish identity. Whether the prophet was right or wrong, they didn’t care. They considered themselves Persians.

For this, the Talmud explains, the Jewish people were deserving of death.

Unfortunately, even nowadays many Jews around their world consider themselves to be “Americans” or “Russians” or “Ukrainians” and not necessarily Jews. Make no mistake, Jews must be loyal citizens to the countries they live in, but the attitude should be “American Jew” not “Jewish American” and the like. Too many Jews are happy to intermarry and assimilate. They believe that “we’re all good people,” “we’re all made in the image of God” and “we’re equal” and the like. Sorry folks. American values aren’t Jewish values. Intermarriage and assimilation are nothing less that the disappearance of the Jewish people. Too many Jews are giving Haman much pleasure by helping him finish the job he never got to start.

The message of Purim is a microcosm of Jewish history and the repeated Jewish threat to our existence, not merely from the outside, but the threat to our existence from the inside – assimilation. The survival of the Jewish people is dependent on one thing. Yes, one: Jewish values and Jewish continuity. Intermarriage and assimilation are a desecration of both. Time to rethink our commitment to the Jewish people and ponder what we can do to ensure Jewish continuity!

Bring Purim Joy to Victims of Terror and Refugees from Ukraine!

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Families have been destroyed by ongoing terror attacks. Orphans have been rescued to Israel from brutal bombings in Ukraine. They need our compassion and love!

Brighten their holiday by sending beautiful Purim food baskets, yummy treats, personal notes and amazing toys for the children.