Israel Celebrates Purim

For Jews in Israel and around the world, the celebration of Purim is a joyous occasion in which they celebrate God’s dramatic intervention to protect the Jewish people from the attempt by a Persian tyrant to eliminate them.


The account is recorded in Biblical history in the book of Esther and the annual celebration, known as Purim, is a lively, fun-filled day when children dress up as the Biblical heroes, Mordecai and Esther, and everyone eats hamentashen (triangle-shaped pastries filled with sweet goodness)! Traditionally, the kids parade through synagogues in their costumes while adults shower them with candy. There is dancing in the streets of Jerusalem and elsewhere as the celebration takes place and they thank God for His grace and mercy.

As with many Jewish holidays, it can be said, “They tried to kill us, God protected us, let’s eat!” So Jewish!

The book of Esther tells the story of a young Jewish beauty who was chosen to be queen of Persia “for such a time as this.” The madman, Haman, who devised a scheme to destroy the Jewish people, was hanged on his own gallows because Esther had gained the king’s favor and Mordecai had faithfully acted to protect his kinsmen. When the story is read, it is customary for the people to boo when Haman’s name is read!

This evening marks the beginning of Purim and I encourage you to gather your family, or your friends, or just settle into God’s Word by yourself and read the book of Esther. All 10 chapters can be easily read in half an hour, and it will be time well-spent! The account is fascinating, and God’s Word never returns void.

Then, consider the similarities between the threat faced by the Jewish people in Esther’s day, compared to what we see today. Persia, now known as Iran, is actively planning to wipe Israel off the map, just as ancient Persia was. Iran now admits to having enriched uranium to 86%, which is very close to nuclear grade. Some believe they have already passed the threshold. If Iran is not already nuclear-capable, they will be very soon.

But just as God has defended Israel’s existence in the past, He will do so again! In fact, here is His promise to Israel:

35 Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The Lord of hosts is His name):

36 “If those ordinances depart
From before Me, says the Lord,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before Me forever.”

~Jeremiah 31:35-36

I love God’s promises, don’t you! As long as the sun, moon and stars continue to occupy their orbits and do their thing, Israel will not be destroyed. In fact, Iran’s chances of success would increase if they simply turned their nuclear weapons toward the sun, moon and stars and tried to shoot them from the sky!

God is forever faithful, and He will not abandon His chosen people! So dance, dance, dance…and celebrate Purim with all that is within you, my Jewish friends! For God called Esther “for such a time as this,” and He remains committed even still to the survival of Israel.

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