Monday, February 18, 2013

Musings on Purim

Did Yeshua Celebrate Purim?
By Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

The Brit Chadasha is by far not an exhaustive commentary on the first century
beliefs and practices of the Jewish believer; it is but a series of snap shots
in time.

The Brit Chadasha was never written with the intent of becoming `Scripture." The
Besorah (Gospels) are mostly a historical, testimonial type of document as a
witness to Yeshua that falls way short of the entirety of His life, activities,
teachings and miracles. It has been said by one of the writers of the Besorah
that all the libraries and books couldn't contain such information (John 21:25).
Other parts of the Brit Chadasha are instructional correspondence between a
Sheliachim (an Apostle) and various synagogues.

Much of the Brit Chadasha is written in such a way that it is assumed the
readers were Torah Obedient and knew about many of the customs and traditions of

This being said, it is a given and obvious that Yeshua kept the Saturday
Sabbath, went to synagogue (Luke 4:16), participated in the Feasts of Leviticus
23 and even celebrated a non-biblical feast called Chanukah (John 10). But what
about Purim, it is mysteriously not mentioned in the Brit Chadasha just as G-d's
Name is not found in the text of the book of Esther. So did He observe it? I
think it is safe to say He did because though it is not mentioned he did, Yeshua
was a Torah Observant Jew even keeping many of the customs and traditions of His
people which Purim was one of them (Esther 9:28). The reason it is not mentioned
as being celebrated in the Brit Chadasha is because in the time of Yeshua, Rome
occupied and ruled Israel and thus Purim was ban as a public festival out of
fear it would insight rebellion among the Jews against Rome. However, the
Meggillah was still permitted to be read and Purim was allowed to be observed in
private. Wouldn't Chanukah incite such rebellion too, why was it celebrated and
not Purim? Great question, it is because Chanukah was all about the defeat of
Rome's enemy; the Greco-Syrians and encouraged the Jews to celebrate that fact
by allowing Chanukah observance to continue.

Hey! Who Was That Masked Deity Anyway!?
By: Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Purim is the Feast that was instituted by Mordechai, Hadassah's (Esther's)
cousin and guardian after Haman's plans to wipe out the Jewish people recoiled
upon his own head. During this festival we dress up in disguises and costumes,
have a lot of fun and even play some good natured tricks on people. Esther is a
book of the Tanak that does not mention the name of G-d anywhere outright in the
text. But it is interesting to note that G-d is disguised all throughout the
book of Esther, not just in the events, but in the text itself! G-d participates
in Purim by disguising Himself.

Esther 1:20 And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published
throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their
husbands honour, both to great and small.

G-d's name YHWH is formed by the initial letters of the verse, but YHWH is
spelled backwards because in this verse He was turning back the counsels of man.

Esther 5:4 And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and
Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.

YHWH is spelled by the initial letters as HE is initiating action, and YHWH is
spelled forward because the Almighty is ruling causing Esther to act.

Esther 5:13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew
sitting at the king's gate.

YHWH is formed by the last or final letters of this verse because Haman's end
was fast approaching. YHWH is appears backwards in the text seeing as G-d was
overruling Haman's joy and turning back his counsel.

Esther 7:7 And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into
the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the
queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.

Again YHWH is spelled in this verse by using the final letters because Haman's
finality had come. Yet in the text YHWH is spelled forward because G-d was
ruling and bringing about what He had determined.

Chuck Missler in his book, "Cosmic Codes: Hidden Messages from the Edge of
Eternity" (pg. 83) has this to say about these for verses:

"The first two acrostics are a pair, having the name formed by the initial
letters of the four words. The last two are a pair, having the name formed by
the final letters of the four words.

The first and third acrostics are a pair having the name spelled backward. The
second and the fourth are a pair, having the name spelled forward…

The first and third, in which the name is formed backward, are from the text
spoken by Gentiles. The second and fourth, in which the name is formed forward,
are from text spoken by Israelites."

But this is not all. "I AM" is hidden in the final letters spelled backwards in
Esther 7:5

Esther 7:5 Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who
is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?

The word Messiah or Moshiach is found hidden in the Hebrew text of Esther 1:3 by
skipping eight letters. Eight being the number representing beginnings.

Esther 1:3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes
and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the
provinces, being before him:

Esther 4:17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had
commanded him.

In this verse Yeshua's name meaning Salvation is found by counting every eight

El Shaddai (the Almighty) is found by counting every seven letters in Esther

Esther 4:2 And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the
king's gate clothed with sackcloth.

And as a divine punch line G-d has the phrase, "Haman and Satan stink" by
counting every six letters ten times in Esther 3:11, 12.

Esther 3:11, 12 And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the
people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee. Then were the king's
scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written
according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to
the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people
of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after
their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with
the king's ring.

So even before Purim was instituted we See G-d was already participating in all
the disguise, jokes and festivities that we celebrate by tradition today.

On another note Satan likes to play dress up too!

II Cor. 11:14 "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of

Which means HaSatan can make him self look pure, good, and holy on the surface,
yet is pure and deadly evil just inches beneath.

At Purim we dress up in costumes, we hide our true identity because YHWH's name
is not mentioned in the book of Esther, He is hidden, yet we see He is all too
present. It shows us that G-d and miracles often are disguised in the mundane

Hadassah hid her identity at the command of her cousin Mordechai in order to
reveal her Jewishness at just the right time in order to save her people from
total annihilation.

On the other hand HaSatan too participated in Purim. He first came as wise
serpent to Chavah, then in Haddasah's day he disguised himself in Haman as a
wise councilmen to birth a plan of genocide of the Jewish people. And later in
Judas to betray and hand over the Messiah to be killed.

And today HaSatan conceals himself in the guise of Enlightened and Free,
Anti-Torah Christianity, and compromising and assimilating forms of Messianic
Judaism, which all appear as pure, good, and well intended, even enlightened and
yet this is but one of the true threats to Jews, and the true remnant of
believers today.

We must do our best when called upon to tactfully, yet boldly spread the light
of Torah and Messiah to Christians and Messianics. Yet we must be careful so as
not to fall into the soft and cuddly death trap of ecumenicalism that says, "We
all serve the same G-d, we all serve the same Messiah."

We must, whether we are at home, work, school or play, no matter what skin or
place we are in, we must not compromise and we must stand tall and strong for
Torah and Messiah in this dark perverted backwards world.

Rebirth at Purim
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

"In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king
Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and
from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar." - Esther

"When the joy fell on Adar, Haman rejoiced greatly, for he said; `The lot has
fallen on the month Moses died!' He did not know that was the month Moses was
born." – Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 13b

"And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no
more go out and come in: also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over
this Jordan… And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye
was not dim, nor his natural force abated." Duet. 31:2; 34:7

We see from this that Moses dies on his birthday! Haman saw only one side of the
coin. He only saw that Moses died in the month of Adar and seen it as a good
omen for him to exterminate the Jews of Persia and a bad omen for the Persian
Jews; that their God had turned against them and they were doomed to
extermination. Little did Haman know Moses was also born on the same day as he
died! Haman's interpretation of the lots was just the opposite! It was a bad
omen for him, for he and his house would perish in the same day (Esther 9:5, 10,
25). And it would represent the death of old captive, fleshly Israel and her
rebirth into a new creation (II Cor. 5:17); which was right on the heels the
month of Nisan (Abib/Aviv), which is the month of the Passover, the month of the
Exodus from Egypt and when Israel was birthed as a nation in freedom in the

HalleluYah! The lot is not man's domain, but the L-RD's! HE IS IN CONTROL OVER
ALL THINGS (Rom. 8:28)!

"The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD."
– Prov. 16:33

It should also be noted that death, for the believer is a rebirth anyway, and a
precious thing in G-d's eyes (Psa. 116:15). Moses was born on the earth and born
anew in heaven on the same day! So death in the eyes of His People is a moot
point (Phil. 1:21)! No matter how you look at it, Israel was to be reborn,
again! Haman didn't have a chance and never saw it coming!

The L-RD was not finished with the Persian Jews. He had a plan and purpose for
them. The G-d of Israel and Israel declared as one:

"I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD." –Psalm 118:17

Justice is at times diverted by a monetary bribe. Recall the Command of the Half
Shekel which was announced on the 1st of Adar in preparation to be due on the
1st of Nisan (Abib/Aviv):

"When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then
shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou
numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.
This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half
a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half
shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. Every one that passeth among them that
are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the
LORD." Exodus 30:12-14

"Resh Lakish said; `The Creator of the world knew Haman would pay money
(shekalim) to convince Ahasuerus to give him permission to destroy the Jews. So
the Holy one made the Jews give their shekalim first. This is why the
announcement of the shekalim must be made on the first of Adar." – Babylonian
Talmud, Megillah 13b

Each person, despite their economic standing was required to give a half shekel,
no more and no less. It took two persons to make a whole shekel, representing
unity and equality, and that we need each other. Haman's shekelim drove people
apart, the Half Shekel of the Jews brought people together. Haman's money was
seen as a bribe. Perhaps he even thought that because the Jews were exiled in
Persia by their disobedience to Him (Deut. 27-28) that they no longer had the
L-RD's favor and thus Haman could bribe G-D with money and thus get a favorable
lot when it was cast! On the other hand we see that the Jews shekalim was seen
as righteous tzedakah (charity), which delivers from death (Prov. 11:4).

Chag Semeach Purim!
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr