After a year typified by upset victories in sports and politics, some rabbis sees this week’s ‘turnaround’ holiday of Purim leading up to the celebration of Israel’s 70th year as a portal that will open the way for the most impressive upset victory of all time: the Third Temple.
Sports fans will most certainly remember this as the year of the upset. Many fans literally fell out of their seats when the Chicago Cubs made an astounding comeback to win their first World Series in over one hundred years. The New England Patriots shocked millions when they came from behind in overtime to win the Super Bowl.
Closer to home, Israel was astounded when their underrated baseball team won their third straight victory in the World Baseball Classic last night, entering the last eight in their first foray into the tournament in Tokyo. Yahoo Sports had called Israel’s team the “underdoggiest underdog of this whole shebang.”
Purim, celebrated Saturday night, is the holiday of nahafochu, Hebrew for ‘flipping things around’, when the day slated to be the destruction of the Jews in Persia became the day their enemies were destroyed. In the spirit of the Jews celebrating in Shushan 2,700 years ago, the Talmud tells Jews to drink wine until “they can’t tell the difference between ‘blessed is Mordecai’ and ‘cursed is Haman’.”
The days wherein the Yehudim 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. Esther 9:22
But the most Purim-like upset victory within the past year was surely when Donald Trump won the presidential election over highly-favored political veteran Hillary Clinton. Before the election, Reuters, like many other prominent polls, gave Clinton a 95 percent chance of winning.
“Trump’s victory was the ultimate upset,” Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf, a prominent Jewish educator and bestselling author, told Breaking Israel News. “Three years ago, if you had told anyone that the star of the reality show The Apprentice would be sitting in the White House today, no one would have believed you.”
Rabbi Apisdorf said that, just as in the Purim story, this aspect of total change is good for the Jewish People.
“That is precisely the power of belief that is needed to bring the Third Temple,” Rabbi Apisdorf said. “The belief in things that literally no one saw coming. Judaism today does not even remotely relate to what it will be when the Temple comes, and that could literally be tomorrow. We can’t even imagine it.”
On top of that, Trump’s victory also had clear connections to the Biblical story of Purim, according to Rabbi Lazer Brody, an American-born Hasidic rabbi and teacher.
Rabbi Brody noted remarkable similarities between the new American president and Biblical King Ahashverosh. The rabbi said that despite being non-Jews, both men have Jewish grandchildren, and both leaders were wealthy and powerful, but did not come from political or royal backgrounds.
Rabbi Brody told Breaking Israel News that this Purim connection would begin to influence politics to an even greater degree after the upcoming holiday.
“You are going to see a lot more nahafochu in the near future,” Rabbi Brody said, quoting Psalms.
“After the destruction of the First Temple, it took 70 years for Israel to wake up and build the Second Temple,” the rabbi explained. “After May 14, Israel will be going into its 70th year. This is the year that Israel will go through big changes. It is when we wake up to the real reason we were brought back into the land.”
Again, the rabbi cited Psalms as a support for his claim.
That they might keep His statutes, and observe His laws. Hallelujah. Psalms 105:45
“That is the reason God gave us the land,” Rabbi Brody said. “The whole message in nahafochu is that it no matter how much we plan, or how clear the end seems to be, it is really all in God’s hands.”
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