Monday, February 19, 2007

Darfur Purim Dvar Torah

One of the things I do besides learn in Yeshiva is run HAeD

Arielle Perlow wrote this Dvar Torah for our Purim campaign. I'll post details of how you can get involved, if you want to know more, e-mail
but for now here is the dvar torah:

Everyone knows the story of Purim: Haman, outraged at the
insubordinate Mordechai, decrees that on Adar 14 all the Jews are to
be annihilated and their property plundered. In response, the Jews,
lead by Esther and Mordechai fast for three days before Esther visits
King Achashverosh and the decree is overturned.

As simple as the storyline is, the lesson of Purim is far more
significant than the fairytale narrative suggests. Through Haman's
wicked decree, we learn as Jews the despair of impending genocide. We
understand what it feels like to be targeted as a nation, the threat
of annihilation.

Currently, a similar genocide to the one proposed by Haman is taking
place. This time, the decree is against the people of Darfur, and the
evil perpetrator is the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed. Sadly,
unlike the proposed genocide of the Jews in ancient Persia, the
genocide in Darfur has been allowed to occur. So far, an estimated
600,000 have been murdered, countless women have been raped, houses
burnt, property pillaged.

What have you done to overturn this evil decree?

When Esther, afraid of the King's reaction to her uninvited entrance,
decides not to petition the King on behalf of her people, Mordechai
reproaches her saying "Do not imagine that you, of all the Jews, will
escape with your life being in the king's palace. On the contrary, if
you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to
the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father's house will
perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to royal position for
such a crisis?"

In the Megila, Mordechai is confident that the Jews will be saved; it
is Esther's morality that concerns him. With the Darfur situation, it
is not apparent that "relief and deliverance" will come from anyone
else. We must try our hardest to end to the genocide!

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