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History Repeating? Purim in the Shadow of Iran

03-07-2015
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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israelis take to the streets every year to celebrate Purim. It's a chance to transform yourself into whatever you want to be for a couple of days.

At the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City and in synagogues nationwide the biblical Book of Esther is read from a scroll. On the streets it's a giant costume party.

The celebration marks the victory of the Jewish people over the wicked Haman, who tried to destroy them.

Queen Esther, who unbeknownst to the king of the Persian Empire was Jewish, and her cousin, Mordecai, exposed the plot and turned the tables.

Fast forward 2,500 years and many see a parallel today.

"Back in the day, it was the Jews in Persia being persecuted and almost wiped out. And now we have the turn from Iran and it kind of correlates the two," an Israeli man told CBN News.

"The people in Israel are very worried about Iran. I think the whole world actually is supposed to be very worried about what's happening with all the nuclear program of Iran," one woman said.

"Always in every generation, there arises one who wants to kill the Jews and then the creator of the world over turns it all," another man said.

For years, Iran has been threatening to destroy Israel. But the international community is currently trying to work out a deal with Tehran to curb its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Congress this week it's a bad deal

"It doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb; it paves Iran's path to the bomb," he told U.S. lawmakers.

Many see Netanyahu's warning like the pleading of Queen Esther for her people. And despite Iran's threats, Israelis believe they will once again survive.

"Three [sic] thousand years ago, someone from Iran wanted to kill us. The same situation now, someone from Iran want to kill us and we are going to win. Absolutely, for sure," one Israeli told CBN News.

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