On Purim, March 20, at 12:00 noon, Jews will hold the traditional reading of the Book of Esther at the Iranian Mission to the United Nations.
The story of the rescue of the Jewish People from near-certain genocide while living in the Persian Empire is read aloud every year, twice on the holiday of Purim. The prime minister at the time, Haman, had managed to secure a decree legalizing the wholesale slaughter of the Jews; the Biblical story tells the tale of how Queen Esther, herself a hidden Jew, courageously -- and successfully -- appeared unsummoned before her husband, King Ahasuerus, to beg for mercy for her people.
This year's public Megillah reading in New York is designed to highlight the threat posed by the regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Israel and the entire world, organizers said.
“This Purim, tell the world – and today's Haman, Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – that we will not be silent as he threatens Israel with destruction and seeks ways to further destabilize the Mideast,” proclaims a flyer sent to media.
Participants are urged to come in full costume and bring their Megillahs and groggers (noise makers for use when Haman's name is sounded). “During the Megillah reading, men and women will stand separately,” organizers said, in observance of Jewish law.
Notices of the event, sponsored by Americans for a Safe Israel, Amcha-Coalition for Jewish Concerns, Jewish Political Education Foundation and Z-Street, are being sent to schools and synagogues and to various email lists on the Internet.
“Remember – you too can help change the course of history!” the poster reminds.
Those seeking further information can call 212-828-2424.