A Take of Two Persias: Iran, Then and Now - The Jewish Voice
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A Take of Two Persias: Iran, Then and Now

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By Larry Domnitch

Although separated by 2,500 years, there are similarities between the Iran of today and Persia of the ancient past.

The Jews of Judea who were exiled to Babylon during the time of the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE were soon under the control of the new ruling Persian Empire, which had exhibited leniency and tolerance towards conquered subjects. The Persian emperor, Cyrus, in his second year, 538 BCE granted the Jews the right to return to Judea to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple. “So says Cyrus, king of Persia, all the kingdoms of earth had Hashem, G-D of heaven, delivered to me and He has commanded me to build Him a Temple in Jerusalem, which is in Judea. Anyone among you among His people, may G-D be with him, let him go to Jerusalem, which is in Judea and build the Temple of Hashem, G-D of Israel-He is the G-D!-which is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra, Chapter 1:1-4) Not only was Cyrus tolerant towards the Jews, he made specific mention to the building of the Jerusalem Temple.

Initially, 42,360 answered the call and subsequent waves would follow. Upon their return, they encountered those Jews of Judea who were not exiled and soon embarked upon the task of building the Temple and the Jewish commonwealth. Opponents to the re-establishment of Judea, the Samaritans, raised their objections leveling bogus accusations that the Jews of Judea were planning rebellion prompting the next Persian King Darius, to suspend construction of the Temple. However, building was eventually resumed and it was completed by 517 fulfilling the prophesy of Jeremiah that that exile would last seventy years.

While the Cyrus decree was an historic munificent pronouncement, the wicked Haman, of Persia, was a rabid anti-Semite and descendant of the evil nation of Amalek who sought to annihilate all the Jews, and he gained the emperor’s support for his diabolical schemes.

Haman had also been behind persuading the emperor to halt the construction of the Temple.

The Ayatollahs of modern day Persia (Iran) are current extremists among a nation of many enlightened tolerant people whom yearn for freedom from their tyrannical rule. They plot along with proxy terror groups whom they support, Hezbollah, the Popular Front Liberation Palestine, Palestine Islamic Jihad, the Houthi rebels of Yemen, Iraq Shia terrorist groups, among others throughout the Middle East, causing destruction in their pursuit of Jihad against the West and their war against the Jewish state.

February 13, 1979 is the day the Ayatollahs came to power. It was a dark day for Iran.

In ancient Persia, Haman was enraged at the very sight of the Jew Mordechai.  Haman the (nuevo riche) wealthy minister told his confidants and his wife, that all the wealth and influence which he acquired was worthless to him as long as he saw Mordechai sitting by the king’s gate. (Esther 5:13) It had infuriated him to no end. It was intolerable to him!

To the present Iranian Mullahs, the sight of the Jewish people sitting by ‘their gate to the King’,(the Almighty) that is the city of Jerusalem as sovereigns, is also intolerable. The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of holocaust denial, promotes radical ideologies, constantly calls for the destruction of Israel, supports terror groups throughout the region; supports totalitarianism, executes dissenters, and blocks the internet. In pursuit of their nefarious aims, they have been willing to forego immense sums of money over the years by sustaining crippling economic sanctions and thus remain a pariah state.

The Iranian hatred of Israel is also fueled by apocalyptic ideologies held by most Shiite Muslims of the 12th Imam, a messiah to appear in the world brought about by war and chaos.

They threaten Israel and with timelines.

On September 8, 2015, just one day after President Obama secured 42 Senate votes needed to ensure that his landmark nuclear deal can’t be filibustered, Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni tweeted, that Israel won’t exist in 25 years. That would be 2040. As in the ancient holiday of Purim, where a lot was drawn to designate the day for the annihilation of Jewry so too the Ayatollahs have their timelines for the Jewish state.

Five years later, on January 12, 2020, the Iranian parliament was debating a newly proposed bill that pledged to destroy Israel within 20 years, again the year 2040 was mentioned. The bill states that the “aggressor Zionist regime” poses a threat to Iran. It called for stepping up military actions against the Jewish State.

Masses of Iranians rose up on several occasions in protest at great risk against the regime.  They are friendly to the West, and towards Israel. They were beaten down in the streets while the world watched and said little.

Purim arrives and the likes of Haman still lives in the modern Iranian regime. The head of the snake who threatens Jewry sits upon his throne in Tehran, not too far from the ancient capital of Shushan. Purim soon arrives and the fall of one Haman is celebrated bearing in mind that others currently lurk. The events of Purim were followed by the rise of a new era in Judea of the building of the Second Temple. Today, 2,500 years later, the reborn State of Israel stands strong.

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