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In shushan, the world nearly went mad

03/05/2020 04:19:40 PM


Rabbi Dan Dorsch

In the story of Purim, the world nearly went mad. According to a famous rabbinic midrash, large, frivolous parties were held in Shushan on golden plates once used to worship in the Jerusalem Temple. A king drunk with power declared an end to the Jewish people, while a wicked advisor wielding unchecked influence nearly got away with genocide.
Then, with the help of one courageous individual, something extraordinary happened: The world pulled back from the brink. Esther’s heroism saved the day. Call it “The Great Woman” theory of history. Call it whatever you’d like. Paraphrasing the words of our Megillah, I would call it a Nahafoch Hu moment, a course-correction where we flipped things around and all became right and good with the world.
What do we have today? A rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment. Coronavirus in Fulton County. A volatile stock market. A meshugah democratic primary. The scenario is not quite the same. But Purim reminds us never to underestimate the power of any one of us to restore the world to a less chaotic trajectory.
Like you, I anxiously await our Nahafoch Hu moment.
Fri, April 3 2020 9 Nisan 5780