searching for one word in the Scroll of Esther which embodies the
entire story, it might very well be ‘v’naafochhu’, which means,
according to Google, ‘to the contrary,’ or perhaps, ‘it all reversed.’
Turned upside down. ‘An unexpected ending.’
During the days of Haman and Achashverosh, towards the end of the first
exile, following the destruction of the First Temple and the exile to
Babylon, many Jews forgot what it was to be Jews. Assimilation was
rampant. But for the enemies of the Jews, that wasn’t enough. They had
to be eradicated. Physically removed from the face of the earth.
There was no State of Israel, No IDF. No Shabak or Mossad. When the
decision was made, (a predecessor of the 1942 Wansee Conference), who
was there to turn to?
Two people, and two people alone held the keys to reversing the almost
inevitable. Mordechai and Esther. It took much courage. They might not
have cared about their own fate, but they knew that continued existence
of their people rested in their hands.
But it took more than courage. It took faith. The most amazing,
overwhelming faith a person can have. The State, the IDF, the Shabak,
the Mossad, and anyone or anything else that could have saved them was
all wrapped up in the Divine, in G-d. They knew and understood that only
He, could save the Jews from that planned holocaust.
The story is well known. No need here to repeat it here.
But, their faith implanted within the Jewish people, for ages to come, a
comprehension, an essence of, look to the Heavens. There is the answer
to your woes.
Of course, our faith started with Abraham. It can be witnessed with
Moses. But their predicament was very different from those before,
because during their days, G-d was seemingly hidden, had seemingly
disappeared. It’s very very hard to plea to a Diety which seemingly has
abandoned you, perhaps punishment for your collective sins. But
Mordechai and Esther knew that G-d would never abandon His people. Some
might, due to lack of faith, be blind to His existence. But they were
not blind; they knew, felt and saw the truth, and acted accordingly.
And the Jews were saved.
Over the years I wrote many articles about Beit HaShalom:
March 26, 2007: Last week Hebron's Jewish community received a green
light from its attorneys…The deal was completed to their satisfaction.
We could move in…The community purchased a 4,000 sq. meter structure,
overlooking the road between Hebron and Kiryat Arba.
January 29, 2008: Two soldiers are stationed outside Beit HaShalom for
security purposes…the soldiers are ‘cold’ and requested/demanded that
people in the building supply them with an electric line for a heater to
keep them warm…Defense Minister Ehud Barak had just refused Hebron’s
request to allow humanitarian renovations in the building, including
instillation of simple windows, electric current, and sealing of the
building’s roof to prevent water leakage. The letter received from the
Defense ministry stated clearly: If you’re cold, go live somewhere else…
February 28, 2008: "You can install aluminum window frames WITHOUT
glass windows."…They finally agreed to installation of windows… You
didn't get a permit to install anything made of plastic – only aluminum
frames and glass windows, no shades!"
October 30, 2008: Yesterday the Supreme Court discussed Beit HaShalom
in Hebron. The discussion focused on the question of purchase and
possession. The judges stressed throughout the discussion that even if
the building was legally purchased, it is still possible to issue an
expulsion order because the building was still in the possession of the
Arab seller, Rajbi.
November 28, 2008: Last week the Supreme Court announced its decision.
They gave the people living there 72 hours to leave of their own
December 12, 2008: It is unthinkable and intolerable that Israel's top
leadership should change the rules in the middle of the game, expecting
the other side to play by the old ones, while they play by the new.
Peace may breed peace but by the same token, extremism breeds
extremism…The true threat to our country is the warping of the
fundamental institutions whose presence is supposed to protect the
people rather than terrorize them. The decisions made concerning Beit
Hashalom were not based upon justice, rather upon pure judicial terror.
October 11, 2012: The new year is starting off on the right …A few weeks
ago, an Israeli court ruled that Beit HaShalom, the huge 4,000 square
meter building between Hebron and Kiryat Arba, was legally purchased by
the Jewish community of Hebron and must be returned to us, the rightful
owners of the building.
March 11, 2014: Beit HaShalom - Victory at last WE WON WE WON WE WON I
COULD KEEP WRITING THESE WORKS A MILLION TIMES AND IT STILL WOULDN'T BE
ENOUGH…This afternoon the Israeli Supreme Court rejected Arab appeals
concerning Beit HaShalom in Hebron, thereby paving the way for our
return to the building.
The spirit of Mordechai and Esther continues, thousands of years later.
The immense faith of the Abraham family, purchasing Beit HaShalom; the
families, with small children and newborn babies who lived in puddles of
water, with rain, sleet and snow soaking their freezing rooms, but
refusing to leave, under any circumstances; people who supported them,
assisting in all ways possible, and so many others, have enabled us,
thank G-d, to witness the Purim of Beit HaShalom.
If this is not 'v'naafochu' I don't know what is. Happy Purim from Hebron.
This article does not necessarily represent the views of the Jewish Community of Hebron