Antisemitism Watch: It Is Purim Again

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Rabbi Eric Tokajer

A person would have to be blind and deaf to not see and acknowledge that antisemitism is increasing dramatically globally, and not just among the usual suspects. Today, we find marches calling for the destruction of Israel and the death of the Jews, not only in countries where it has been the norm for decades like Syria, Iran and Lebanon, but also in England, France, Canada and the U.S.

Those of us who read our Bibles know that the prophets of old told of a time when the whole world would turn against Israel. While ancient prophecy does speak to us about what I believe to be our current events, the accusation, the root of this antisemitism, the hatred of the nation Israel and the Jewish people, is based upon nothing new. The reason people today hate the Jewish people is exactly the same as it was in Egypt, Persia, Spain, Italy, Russia and Germany.

While the reasoning for the anti-Semitic action of each of these nations throughout history may have been spoken in different words, the charges against the Jewish people have always been the same and were most clearly stated by Haman in Esther 3:8:

“Haman then said to King Ahasuerus: ‘There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose laws differ from those of every other people and who do not obey the king’s laws. It is not in the king’s interest to tolerate them.'”

As we read these words, we must remember the context. Up until the king promoted Haman and commanded that people bow down before Haman, Mordechai and the rest of the Jewish people in Persia not only lived in peace in Persia, but were also fully included in Persian life. Mordechai was respected and sat at the king’s gate with other men of respect, and Esther was one of the women chosen to compete to be queen.

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As we read the book of Esther, we see that the Jews obeyed the laws of Persia, up until worshipping someone other than the one true G-D (bowing to Haman) was made a law. After all, it was because Mordechai obeyed the law that he reported the attempt to kill the king. It was also because Esther obeyed the law that she submitted herself to the process of the king’s search for a queen.

(Side note: This wasn’t a beauty pageant.)

However, once one Jew, Mordechai, refused to bow before and worship Haman, every Jew was universally accused.

The truth is that since the time G-D spoke to Israel from the mountain in Exodus 20:2-3, the Jewish people have been hated:

“I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.”

The Jewish people have been hated simply because they refuse to worship any man or god except the one true G-D of the Bible. It is just that simple. Generation after generation, time after time, antisemitism raises its ugly demonic head and brings the same accusation that Haman spoke for the same reason.

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Today, those words are still being spoken by those who believe that all people should submit to their authority and believe their authority should be revered, or worshipped. We can hear them spitting out the same venomous lie. “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the nations of the world whose laws differ from those of every other people and who do not obey our laws. It is not in the world’s interest to tolerate them.”

When we hear political leaders, religious leaders, social justice leaders and those in the United Nations regurgitate the words of Haman once again, every one of us must remember the words spoken by Mordechai in Esther 4:13-14:

“Mordecai told them to reply to Esther with this answer, ‘Do not think in your soul that you will escape in the king’s household more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place—but you and your father’s house will perish. Who knows whether you have attained royal status for such a time as this?'”

If you are a believer in the G-D of Israel and Yeshua is your Messiah, you have been grafted into Israel. You are a part of that “certain people.” So, the next time a Haman stands up and spouts anti-Semitic accusations, don’t think you will escape just because you are in a church instead of a synagogue. Remember the words spoken by today’s Hamans:

“First the Saturday people, and then the Sunday people.”

We only need to take an honest look at the news or social media to realize that it is Purim again. What will you do?

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Rabbi Eric Tokajer is the author of “Overcoming Fearlessness,” “What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?”, “With Me in Paradise,” “Transient Singularity,” “OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry,” “#ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer,” “Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians” and “Galatians in Context.” Visit his website at

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