There is no end to the amount of homilies that rabbis will spin out of the story of Purim. Pending what’s in the New York Times that week, Vashti, Esther and Mordechai all become transformed into real-life characters. Usually this sermonic game ends up with someone asking, “So, rabbi, who is today’s Haman?” Usually this crude question engenders an equally crude but far more dangerous political answer. God knows how many people have been labeled Haman who, in other contexts, would be seen as a Mordechai. Rarely do we actually have a real breathing Haman standing right before our eyes.
This year, however, I am sad to say, but it seems there is such a man, the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. What makes him today’s Haman is that his hatred is not just directed at Israel or Zionists but at the entire Jewish people worldwide. What his Holocaust denial conference testified to was that his hatred is directed at Israel, Judaism, and the Jewish people worldwide. (Those crazy “Jews” who attended his conference may have been circumcised but have lost their ability to be considered part of the Jewish people) Lets hope Ahmadinejad finds the same end that Haman found.