Column # 394 March 17, 2023
In the Jewish community Purim is known as the “Jolliest Day of the Year.” Every year it is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar (late winter/early spring). This year Purim began Monday night, March 6 and continued through Tuesday, March 7. So it’s over for this year and, if it wasn’t for the movie titled “The Book of Esther 2013," I would not have learned about this particular day. It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”1
Many are aware of the biblical story of Esther, but not Purim. The vast majority of people are not familiar with either one. I was jolted into learning about Purim by chance. While scanning Tubi for a movie, we decided to watch “The Book of Esther 2013" starring Jen Lilley, Joel Smallbone, Robert Miano, Thaao Penghlis, and Jennifer Lyons. It was directed by David A.R. White.2
Oddly enough, it was because Robert Miano was in the movie we figured it would be good. It wasn’t too many days before that we had watched “The Book of Daniel,” which was also released in 2013. It starred Robert Miano as Daniel and we thought he played the part perfectly. Oddly enough, if you look up Robert Miano you’d be surprised to learn that he gained his movie fame playing gangsters!3 4
After having watched “The Book of Esther 2013," we noticed Tubi had another Esther movie. I thought that it was strange that two similar movies would be showing at the same time. A couple of days later we heard a minister comment about the book of Esther in his sermon. A few days after that I jumped in the car for an errand and the voice on the radio was talking about Hitler not being the first to want to annihilate the Jewish people. The voice then explained that around the year 460 BC the evil Lord Haman plotted to exterminate the Jews. But the Jews were saved by Esther and he went on to explain how that occurred. That got me wondering, why was “The Story of Esther” on “everyone’s” lips?
Psychologists say Hitler’s personality included pathological narcissism and he suffered not only from chronic anxiety, but also from insomnia and related somatic symptoms similar to what we today might call irritable bowel syndrome. He has also been diagnostically described as a borderline paranoid schizophrenic and hysterical “megalomaniac.” He was certainly evil beyond evil. “Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews across German-occupied Europe—around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population.”5 6
There is no question that incredibly evil people who rise up in the ranks of power can do some very dastardly things. Quite often, rulers want total allegiance. On the other hand worshipers of God may still obey their king, yet their first allegiance is to their God and His teachings. Despotic rulers find this a personal threat to their authority and take steps to eliminate the threat.
By looking back at history we can see why The Story of Esther is so grand. A simple Jewish girl, Esther, is chosen as the new queen consort to King Xerxes I of Persia. Soon after, in order to save the Jews she has to, at her great peril, speak up and tells the king he had been tricked and that he must stop evil Lord Haman’s plot to exterminate the Jews. Haman, who had recently been named the prime minister of all of Persia, was easily as evil as Hitler. So, it took great courage for this humble Jewish girl to speak out and possibly incur the consequences of Haman’s fury. But she convinced the king of the great enemy in his palace and saved the Jews.
Of course movies rarely follow exactly as the scriptures are written, so “for the rest of the story” one should read the biblical version. Nevertheless, both movies staring Robert Miano are very entertaining and educational.7
To your health.
Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.
For additional reading:
1. The Basic Purim Story from Chabad.org
2. The Book of Esther 2013 from Wikipedia
3. The Book of Daniel (film) from Wikipedia
4. Robert Miano from Wikipedia
5. How Mad was Hitler? by Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. from Psychology Today
6. The Holocaust from Wikipedia
7. Esther from Bible Hub