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02/13/08: Purim

Taken from Jewish Encyclopedia, Purim

According to the New Moon Report which can be received from a monthly newsletter at Karaite-Korner.org, the new moon was seen in Israel on Friday, February 8, 2008. Thus beginning the Twelfth Biblical Month, Adar.

For 2008, Adar 14th (Purim) is February 22nd, 2008.


Jewish feast celebrated annually on the l4th, and in Shushan, Persia, also on the 15th, of Adar, in commemoration of the deliverance of the Persian Jews from the plot of Haman to exterminate them, as recorded in the Book of Esther. According to that book the feast was instituted as a national one by Mordecai and Esther. For a critical view of Purim see Esther. In the present article are treated only the various features of the feast as developed after its institution.

Esther Chapter 9
1 Now in the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have rule over them; whereas it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;
2 the Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king hasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt; and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them was fallen upon all the peoples.
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17 on the thirteenth day of the month Adar, and on the fourteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
18 But the Jews that were in Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
19 Therefore do the Jews of the villages, that dwell in the unwalled towns, make the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.
20 And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,
21 to enjoin them that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,
22 the days wherein the Jews had rest from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to gladness, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.


Non-Religious Character.

Aside from the much-mooted question whether Purim is of Jewish or of heathen origin, it is certain that, as it appears in the Book of Esther, the festival is altogether devoid of religious spirit - an anomaly in Jewish religious history. This is due to the worldly spirit of the Book of Esther. The only religious allusions therein are the mention of fasting in iv. 16 and ix. 31, and perhaps the expression of confidence in the deliverance of Israel in iv. 14. This secular character has on the whole been most prominent in this festival at all times. Like Ḥanukkah, it has never been universally considered a religious holy day, in spite of the fact that it is designated by the term "yom-ṭob" (Esth. ix. 19, 22.). Accordingly business transactions and even manual labor are allowed on Purim, although in certain places restrictions have been imposed on work (Shulḥan 'Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 696).

Nevertheless Purim has been held in high esteem at all times and in all countries, some even maintaining that when all the prophetical and hagiographical works shall be forgotten the Book of Esther will still be remembered, and, accordingly, the Feast of Purim will continue to be observed (Yer. Meg. i. 5a; Maimonides, "Yad," Megillah, iii. 18; comp. Schudt, "J'dische Merkw'rdigkeiten," ii. 311). It is also claimed that Purim is as great as the day on which the Torah was given on Sinai ("Mordekai" on B. M. ix., end; comp. Lampronti, "Paḥad Yiẓḥaḳ," s.v. "Purim"). In Italy the Jews, it seems, have even used the word "Purim" as a family name, which also proves the high esteem that the festival enjoys among them (Vogelstein and Rieger, "Gesch. der Juden in Rom," ii. 420; but comp. Steinschneider in "Monatsschrift," 1903, p. 175).

The Book of Esther does not prescribe any religious service for Purim; it enjoins only the annual celebration of the feast among the Jews on the 14th and 15th of Adar, commanding that they should "make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor." It seems, therefore, that the observance of Purim was at first merely of a convivial and social nature. Gradually it assumed religious features.

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Abraham Collier is in no way associated with peshat.com.

Do Not Equate Karaism with Zionism
by Abraham Collier


Introduction

The anti-Zionist organisations such as True Torah Jews, Jews Against Zionism, and Neturei Karta are 100% correct in their assessment of Zionist history, motives, and politics. They are 100% correct in their feelings toward the State of Israel and the inherent dangers that plague all Jews, Zionist or not, because of Israel's policies and "peace" negotiations. They are 100% correct in stating that the State of Israel is a secular apostasy and pseudo democracy that is ungodly in every way.

I am writing today because I read a True Torah Jews brochure entitled, 'On This Day of Independence from Zionism' and am concerned with how the organisation quoted a Rabbanite scholar who equated the Karaites with Zionism. I disagree with this rabbi and True Torah Jew's use of this material. I am worried about the implications the quote may have in regards to the views of Jews, ****ians, Muslims, and secularists, who, regardless of their favour or dislike for Zionism, toward Karaites. There is already a significant amount of ignorance and misinformation about Karaites from orthodox Rabbanite sources and to equate us to Zionism is quite distasteful and misleading.

The Quote

"The Jewish people have suffered many plagues: the Sadducees, Karaites, Hellenisers, Shabbasai Zvi, Haskalah, Reform and many others. But the strongest of them all is Zionism." (Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik, Mishkenos Haro'im, p. 269)

Any novice student of Jewish history recognises each of these movements as heretical in the eyes of Orthodox Rabbanite Judaism. Please note that I am not implying in favour of any of these groups, with the exception of Karaism seeing that I lean towards Karaite beliefs myself.

Deuteronomy Chapter 4
1 And now, O Israel, hearken unto the statutes and unto the ordinances, which I teach you, to do them; that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which YHWH, the God of your fathers, giveth you.
2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of YHWH your God which I command you.

The well-known statement of the Talmud ein mikra yotze midei peshuto (Shabbat 63a; Yev. 11b, 24a) is rendered in the Soncino translation, "A verse cannot depart from its plain meaning."
Louis Rabinowitz
The Talmudic Meaning of Peshat
Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Thought, 6:1, 1963.

It is of necessity to remind you that the Pharisees, who are the ancestors of the Rabbanites, were the enemies of all Judaism during the Second Temple Era. Once this is understood, you will see how Rabbanite Judaism is the true plague that maladies the Jews.

The Pharisee and Sadducee Controversy

When one studies the Second Temple Era, they are usually overwhelmed by the contradictions, obscurities, and blatant bias that many historians, philosophers, clergymen and rabbis had towards the Jews at that time. Josephus, he is probably the best source for knowledge of this period, states:

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Category: General
Posted by: Benjamin
Jews Against Zionism, and the people and organizations quoted on their site, are in no way associated with peshat.com and views expressed here.


The Central Rabbinical Congress of the U.S.A. and Canada placed a quarter-page ad in today's New York Times, affirming the opposition of hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Jews to Zionism and Jewish rule over the Holy Land during exile, and denouncing religious Zionist groups as falsifiers of the Torah. The ad appeared in the newspaper on page A-20.

The text of the ad was as follows:

A Clarification of Torah Doctrine

Consistently, throughout the peace process in the Middle East, various Jewish religious organizations and parties have raised their voices in opposition to the return of territories to the Arabs, issuing statements that, according to the Torah, Jews are forbidden to give up any land in the Holy Land (especially part of Jerusalem).

Land sold returns to the original owner on the Year of Return - Jubilee. The timing of the next Jubilee year appears to be debatable.

Leviticus Chapter 27
24 In the year of jubilee the field shall return unto him of whom it was bought, even to him to whom the possession of the land belongeth.

Accordingly, it has become a commonplace that religious Jews are supportive of stopping the peace process. In the public mind, the policies of these parties became synonymous with Torah Doctrine. Moreover, they are portrayed in the media as "ultra-nationalists" willing to exchange "peace" for "land".

This impression is utterly false. All forms of Zionism, be they secular or religious, are inherently antithetical to the teaching of our faith! The great sages and saints of our people have always been opposed to the existence of the Zionist State. Indeed, when an obscure Viennese journalist first challenged the Torah approach to exile and redemption, over one hundred years ago, he was immediately attacked by the Torah sages of that time. Those orthodox Jews who support the Israeli state and "Greater Israel" are falsifiers of Torah doctrine. They have abandoned the principles of their predecessors.

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