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Baruch Cohen: PURIM 2017—5777
In Loving Memory of Malka – z”l
The Book of Esther describes not just one, but all historical periods. It remains forever new because enemies of the Jews will not allow it to grow old. The Book of Esther breathes love for Judaism, even as it tells of, and foretells, the everlasting attacks, hostility, and enmity against the Jews in diasporic lands.
Wherever the Jews have lived there have arisen new Hamans to enslave and persecute them. Purim gave the Jews courage in the darkest hours, and the hope that they would see the downfall of their enemies. The story of Purim in the Book of Esther is one that expresses the ties that united the Jews then, and today.
It is not strange that, since the festival of Purim is connected to a story about the indestructibility of the Jewish People, it will be celebrated forever by young and old. This book is one that unites all Jews, connecting ordinary people to those who attained the highest honors. Purim, a holiday that celebrates liberation, expresses something we Jews have not always had the opportunity to enjoy--the playful, light-hearted side of life.
In Purim, with its reading of the Book of Esther, its groggers decrying the mention of Haman’s name, and its costume-contests for the young, the Jew found a day, when we can revel and enjoy life together.
Purim Sameach to all CIJR’s readers and friends!
(Baruch Cohen, who celebrated his 97th birthday last October,
is CIJR’s long-time Research Chairman
Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)
Rob Coles (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)