Purim in Stamford Hill, London ( a must see!)
One person ( or two) can change the destiny of a whole nation. The Book of Esther truly testifies of it. Thanks to her uncle Mordechai's cleverness and to Queen Esther before King Ahasuerus, all Israel was saved from Haman's wicked plans to kill all Jews.
Megilat Esther: the story
The feast of Purim is the feast of the lots. It truly illustrates the following verse:
בַּחֵיק, יוּטַל אֶת-הַגּוֹרָל; וּמֵיְהוָה, כָּל-מִשְׁפָּטוֹ
"The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD" (Proverbs 16:33)
Haman fomented evil plans against Israel, but Israel's destiny was in Hashem's hands.
Although the Shoah is the most massive and horrific pogrom of the Jewish nation, pogroms and persecutions against Jewish people go back to ancient biblical times and has been continued after the split between Yeshua's disciples and traditional Judaism. While some people prompt to revere the "Church fathers", please allow me to be a little bit more critical in regards to history and their persecution of Jewish people often described as "God killers".
I'd like to warn, once again, people who are calling them "believers in Yeshua" and who slate Jewish people constantly. You are slating His chosen people, the apple of His eye and your hatred will not go unpunished! Repent before it is too late: antisemitism is hatred at its worst. The One you pretend to revere is the God of Israel!
The half-shekel temple tax (Matthew 17:24-27) and Purim symbolism
Torah reference: Exodus 30:13
"Each one who is numbered in the census shall give half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary half a shekel as an offering to the Lord".
"As they came to Kfar Nachum, the collectors of the half-shekel approached Petros and said:" Does your rav not give the half-shekel?"
He said: "He will give it."
But when he came to the house, Yeshua came first to ask, saying: "What is your opinion, Shim'on? The kings of earth-from who do they take their taxes and customs?
Petros said to Him: "from foreigners."
Yeshua said to him: "If so, the children are exempt."
But nonetheless, in order that we will not be an obstacle to them, go to the sea, throw a fishhook into it, and take the first fish that comes up. When you open its mouth, you will find an istara ( silver coin). Take it and pay on my behalf and yours." Matthew 17:24-27
Even if there is no explicit mention of Yeshua observing the feast of Purim, there are great chances our rabbi did. We know from the Gospel of John that he observed Hannukah.
The episode of Shim'on Kepha's fish strongly points at Purim for several reasons:
-We know from historical evidence that the Temple tax had to be paid in the month of Adar.
-The fish is intimately linked with the spirit of Purim, which is a period of the year one is advised to rejoice greatly ( see picture). The fish is also a symbol of addition, of abundance (We do find this symbolism in the multiplication of bread loaves and fishes).
-On erev Purim there is a custom called "Machazit Hashekel" that consists of giving three coins to a charity in remembrance of the Temple treasury donation.
In the same way, Hashem's Name is hidden from Megilat Esther, Yeshua's Name is absent from Purim celebration in the Gospels. Yet, Purim carries a deep Messianic significance.
The liberation of Israel will come from our Messiah.
The nations plot to destroy Israel, but Hashem has the last word.
The oral Torah teaches that when Mordechai knew of the plot, he spoke with three Jewish school children who brought him some good news:
The first one said: "Do not fear sudden terror, nor the destruction of the wicked when it comes" (Proverbs 3:25).
The second one stated:"Contrive a scheme, but it will not be foiled; conspire a plot but it will not materialize, for God is with us." (Isaiah 8:10)
Finally, the last child told him: "Even to your old age I am with you; even to your hoary years I will sustain you; I have made you, and I will bear you, I will sustain and deliver you." (Isaiah 46:4)
Apparently, the scene drove Haman mad. But it is precisely young Jewish children's teshuva and devotion that changed the Jews' fate into a mighty deliverance from Hashem.
Never underestimate the purity of children's heart!
With the current rise of antisemitism, we should always be very watchful and be courageous enough to stand with the nation of Israel, for our own destinies are intimately associated with Israel's lot in Yeshua our Messiah, King of the Jews, King of the Kings.
May He protect His people always. Amen.
Copyright© by Isabelle Esling