By Rabbi Moshe Bernstein
Purim means in ancient Persian, lottery, something which is not rational, Purim expresses that which is above nature and human understanding.
In the story of Purim which happened two millennia ago, we find that Mordechai refuses to bow to Haman who was the second to the king. Mordechai’s obstinance enraged Haman and fueled Haman’s desire for revenge. He not only wished to kill Mordechai— he plotted to exterminate the entire Jewish nation. Mordechai did not kneel or prostrate to Haman despite his huge power in the Persian kingdom because Haman considered himself a deity. There was an obvious element of idol worship here.
There are certain commandments that are fundamental, and a Jew is being told to be ready to give up his life. One of these prohibitions is the transgression of idolatry. Mordechai did not bow even to save his life and the lives of his fellow Jews. Mordechai, by Torah law, had to refuse Haman's demand, at any cost. It was the merit of this sanctification of G-d's name, that G-d redeemed them and brought salvation.
The prohibition against idol worship is the first Noahide commandment. A Noahide, however, is not obligated to give up his life for not transgressing, but if he did so, he deserves a big reward from heaven.
Purim expresses joy for G‑d’s involvement in every aspect of our life in this world. Even though there were no obvious miracles that were recorded, G‑d was actively “pulling the strings”.
This event of temporary redemption awakened a spiritual revival among the Jews and non-Jews as well. Many non-Jews were trying to get closer to the Torah and Judaism. In a sense, this was even more significant than the Covenant at Sinai—an overwhelming spiritual experience that compelled the Jews to accept the Torah. In Purim, the acceptance came from their own inner decision.
Nowadays bad decrees are not necessary to spark souls. Many Noahides worldwide are seeking the truth of the Torah by fulfilling the 7 Noahide commandments. Strengthening their observance could bring salvation for them and the entire world.
By Rabbi Moshe Bernstein
Rabbi Moshe Bernstein is a writer and a Community Rabbi in Netanya, Israel. He believes in making connections between the Jewish People and the Noahides worldwide in order to share and enhance the knowledge of the Torah's Universal Code for Humanity and fulfill Isaiah's Prophecy 11:9 " And the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the oceans".
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