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The Family Megillah: The Book of Esther - Introduction Translation and Concise Comment Paperback – 1 Jan 1983
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Book of Esther with translation, capsule comments, and introductions.
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It is light and small, making it perfect to take to Synagogue and back.
The introduction by Rabbi Nosson Scherman explores the astounding relevance of the Purim story to the situation of the Jews throughout history and today.
Rabbi Scherman observes how after the Holocaust we can no longer say that modern society could no longer produce or condone a monster whose expressed intention it was to "to destroy, to slay, to exterminate all Jews, young and old, children and women in a single day".
But we know that this did not stop at Hitler. This commentary written during the 1980s is more relevant and urgent today in 2009 than ever as
hatred of Israel and Jews, across the world, reaches depths and histrionics not seems since the Holocaust.
Sherman points out that "Haman's diatribe has been echoed by anti-Semites throughout the ages. Jews are separatists, elitists, racists. They hold themselves apart from all other people of the realm. They hold themselves apart from all other peoples of the realm...Would not the world be better served if this nuisance friendless nation were removed from our midst...So sophisticated a discourse to justify such a foul end".
Just look at university campuses across the world featuring foul festivals of hate labelled "Israel Apartheid week".
Today, Israel is about the size of the state of New Jersey, with a Jewish population of less than 1% of the world's population. Yet, Iran's president says the Holocaust is a "myth" and Israel "must be wiped off the map."-which would mean the genocide of another 5 million Jews , nearly half of the world's Jewish population . Over half of all Holocaust survivors today live in Israel (as do many descendants of Holocaust survivors), and it would be a hideous twist of history for these too to perish in the flames of anti-Jew hatred, as they would do if Israel was destroyed by forces of evil (God forbid that this should ever be allowed to happen!)
But almost the entire international left is lending it's voice to a propaganda campaign, that if fulfilled to it's course, would mean a second holocaust.
We need to pray for another miracle to rescue us from the many Hamans who are crying out against the Jewish State.
Rabbi Scherman also points out the Mordechai was right to defy Haman, Jews do no survive by committing spiritual suicide.
The translation of the Megillah has a very interesting commentary on the side of the page revealing explanations that deepen our understanding as well as titbit's of information from the Midrash and Talmud about the events behind the story.
For example Memuchan, who advised King Ahasuerus was none other than Haman. Called Memuchan because he was destined for destruction.
The Midrash reveals that, on Memucan's suggestion, Vashti's head was brought to Ahaseurus on a plate.
That Hasach, the royal servant and Esther's confidante is identified in the Talmud with Daniel, and that we read the names of Haman's ten sons at once to reveal that they were hung at the same time.