Sunday, December 31, 2006

Purim in Tevet?

Yesterday's news that they have executed Saddam Hussein gave most people in Israel a sense of satisfaction, even if the left-wing media tries to see the negative side of it. The "pc" politicians are being low-key, but the man on the street here is happy. It wasn't that long ago that we had to worry about sealed rooms and gas masks. (We made aliyah just a few months after the end of the first Gulf War, so we missed out on the Scuds, but we did have to take out our gas masks when the Americans went in to Iraq again).

As a religious Jew I can't help but see the parallels to Purim. Hussein was hung on the same gallows that he ordered used by his Secret Police, not unlike Haman who was hung, along with his sons, on the same gallows that he had built for Mordechai.

The fact that this was done on the ninth of the Hebrew month of Tevet is also significant. Aish has an interesting article here about the connection between Saddam Hussein and Nebuchadnezzar, who started the siege of Jerusalem on the Tenth of Tevet. Today we fast to mark this tragic day.

Another sad connection is the fact that today is Yom HaKaddish HaKlali - the Yahrzeit day of those whose date of death is unknown, which is also known as one of the Holocaust remembrance days marked here in Israel. Holocaust survivors light Yarhzeit candles and say the Kaddish prayer in services today, and many schools have special commemorations.

I can't help thinking about what might have happened if a government had gone after Hitler earlier, and executed him for war crimes. How many Jews would not have to use this day to say Kaddish for their relatives?

14 Comments:

Blogger muse said...

good post

It's freezing here!

5:15 PM, December 31, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My chavrusa[s] always tell[s] me that the way the world is, even with free will, is exactly how G-d had planned it, Holocaust - appalling as it was - and all.

We recently discussed that when Moshe said goodbye to the Israelites in Vezos Haberachah, he was shown all that would happen to the Jews after he died, up to and including the arrival of Moshiach, so in spite of having seen the worst tragedies yet to befall the Jews and humankind, he also knew there was something better waiting them.

:D

6:04 AM, January 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, also ... I know it's secular and all, but still, just want to wish you, West Bank Papa and the West Bank Kinder a happy and a healthy New Year ..

(hey, I figure if youze could dig Mahalia then youze could be wished a happy secular New Year, too.)

Ah git, gebentched, freilichen yohr mit a sach lieb un froyndlichkeit.

6:07 AM, January 01, 2007  
Blogger westbankmama said...

muse - yes, it is really cold. Sort of reminds you of the old country, doesn't it?

erica - I am always open to good wishes, although Jan. 1st is just another regular day here

9:44 AM, January 01, 2007  
Blogger kasamba said...

So true!


The first thing I thought when I saw the photo of Sddam with a noose around his neck was that it would make a great Purim card!

11:15 AM, January 01, 2007  
Blogger Soccer Dad said...

I used to go to a Shiur given by a friend who's not only a talmid chacham but also a historian. He said that many communities had their own Purims. The Purim of Baghdad was - the day the Gulf War ended in 1991.

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