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Miracles of Purim by Zanna Linskaia

An evil man rises to power with a grand plan to eliminate the Jews,

until a twist of fate - a miracle! - happens, and the evil man dies; the

Jews survive. Who was that evil man? Well, it depends on what time

period you’re talking about. Turns out there were some similarities

between Haman, the villain of the Purim story, Stalin, the villain of

Communist Russia, Saddam Hussein, the villain of Iraq or Vladimir

Putin with his invasion in Ukraine…

Just days after Purim in March 1953 - the holiday in which we mark

Mordechai and Esther’s rescue of the Jews from Haman’s plot to

falsely accuse and slaughter them from Persia - Stalin was reaching

peak anti-Semitism with a plot of his own: to rid Russia’s 3 million

Jews through mass pogroms and deportations to regions of Siberia.

 The day before he was to kick off this plan with the “Doctors’ Trial,”

in which six Jewish physicians were to be (falsely) tried for

attempting to poison him and other Soviet leaders, Stalin “collapsed

in a fit of rage,” and to the relief of Jews everywhere, kicked the


It reminds me the story of Rabbi Zilber in Russia, who was

mathematician and religious man, who refused to send his children

on Shabbat to school, but he was sent to Gulag. There he decided to

do Purimshpil with few arrestees –Jews. One of them asked – what

miracle will be there – Stalin can do whatever he wants. Rabbi Zilber

told – Stalin does not know, what will happen to him tomorrow. Next

day, Stalin died.

Kind of miracle had happened with the Exodus of Jews from the

former USSR to Israel and then, during the Gulf War. Again, the end of

the war was on Purim February 28, 1991. How many times they tried

to kill us, but we survived!

Will Putin end his war in Ukraine with the same results as previous

villains’? Let’s pray for another Purim miracle…

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