The Exuberance of Purim Stands in Stark Contrast to the Book of Esther’s Dark Undertones

March 10 2020

The holiday of Purim, which began last night and continues today, is one of the most joyous days of the Jewish calendar, traditionally celebrated with carnival-like merriment. Yet, notes Meir Soloveichik, the story behind the holiday—recorded in the book of Esther—is an ominous one, in which a king cavalierly assents to a proposal of genocide on the part of his chief adviser and then, on the turn of a dime, changes his mind and has the adviser hanged:

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Read more at New York Times

More about: Biblical Politics, Diaspora, Esther, Jewish political tradition, Purim

 

Despite Opposition from the Taliban, Islamic State Is Thriving in Afghanistan

According to Taliban officials, Islamic State’s Afghanistan offshoot (known as the “Khorasan province,” or ISKP) has but a negligible presence. American diplomats, for their part, have claimed that the new jihadist government in Kabul can provide a bulwark against the group, which opposes what it sees as the Taliban’s relative religious moderation. But, Oved Lobel argues, the evidence supports neither interpretation:

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Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: ISIS, Taliban, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy