Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress is being analyzed by friends and foes of his, by friends and foes of Israel, by Israelis who care both about the threat of Iran and their own upcoming elections and by Jews and non-Jews around the world. Did it help Israel/America/the world or did it hurt? I’ll leave political scrutiny to others.
As for myself, his speech had one glaring omission. He commented on the face of Moses which looks down upon Congress. He mentioned Purim, the Feast of Esther that would begin about 30 hours after his speech. He quoted from the Bible and referenced the original return to Israel of the Jewish people after forty years in the desert.
Yet, other than a perfunctory ending of, “God bless,” he left out God. One thing determines whether Jews celebrating Purim (the Feast of Esther) are observing an ethnic festival or a religious holiday. Is it a Jewish version of Mardi Gras or a day as important as Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)? The answer to that question depends on whether you see God in the picture or you don’t. Esther fasted and prayed for three days before approching the king, as did the whole nation per her request. She wasn’t counting on her own brilliance or beauty; she was presenting herself as a vessel through which God could work. She did not shirk her responsibility but neither did she imagine that salvation was in her hands.
Binyamin Netanyahu spoke passionately and well before Congress. He told facts that needed to be publicly aired. The reception he received, the applause and standing ovations represent a true love of Israel and the Jewish people by most Americans. At the same time, I admit to an uncomfortable chill when I hear the phrase, “Never again,” referring to humans not allowing another Holocaust. There is much that humans need to do and, tragically, too many people today, both Jewish and non-Jewish, are not standing up to the challenges of our time. However, no matter what we do, no matter how strong our military, no matter how advanced our technology, we need to deeply believe and modify our behavior in accordance with, the additional words, “God willing,” iin order to act as descendants of Moses and Esther. May God deliver us from evil today as He did long ago in Persia, reaffirming the blessing we say before reading the Book of Esther, “in those days as at this time.”
To explore prophecies hidden in the Book of Esther listen to Clash of Destiny: Exploring the Secrets of Israel and Islam.