By Rabbi Steven Bayar

Tonight marks the holiday of Purim when we celebrate the victory of Persian Jewry over the tyranny of Haman. We joyfully drown out his name as we enjoy the candy and treats given by friends in commemoration of the holiday.

Yet this year’s joy is tempered with great tragedy. The Jews of Brussels were asked not to celebrate Purim this year because of the modern day Amalek, the archenemy of Israel. Sunni extremism has eclipsed the holiday with explosions and death.

We join in prayer for the safety of everyone under the threat of terrorism. And yet, as members of the community of Israel we have an obligation to fight those who wish to destroy us and all we stand for.

We are also required not to lose hope; standing together we can accomplish much. Let us remain united in purpose and deed as we care for those in need and fight terrorism throughout the world.

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