Purim in my past

The various meanings of Purim.

By DAVID GEFFEN
February 21, 2018 18:10
Purim revelers in the Nahlaot neighborhood

Purim revelers in the Nahlaot neighborhood. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

How wonderful it is that Jews all over the world can celebrate Purim in a festive manner. For many, Haman and Hitler seem linked. In the first instance, under leadership of Mordecai and Esther, the Jews triumphed; Haman and his hordes were killed. Sadly, Hitler managed to destroy six million of our people before he finally got his due.

For young ones, part of the essence of Purim relates to making as much noise as they can. The first Purim I can remember was in 1947, when Jews were still reeling from what had happened in World War II. Some of the shock came from meeting survivors and hearing their horrendous tales. Another factor was learning about the heroism of American Jewish soldiers during the war, even though none of us yet realized that 550,000 Jews – close to 10% of all the Jews in America – had fought in the various branches of the US military. Our fellow Jews were in every major battle, distinguished themselves, won medals and sacrificed their lives. There is a plaque in every Atlanta synagogue with names of men and women who were killed in the line of duty.

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