Hope you’re having a great day.
… Before I get to Purim?
Nobel Prizes were awarded at the end of 2011.
And, as usual, the question was raised.
How many Jews?
Five out of thirteen!
And as usual, another question was raised.
What percentage of the world’s population is Jewish?
Two tenths of one percent!
Clearly something going on with the Jews!
And one Jew in particular got a lot of attention.
Daniel Shechtman of Israel’s Technion in Haifa.
He received the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Why so much attention?
Because he was once dismissed as a meshugana!
Great scientists laughed at him.
He claimed to find something that just couldn’t be.
The exact nature of quasicrystals is beyond the scope of this Torah Minute.
(Which is a fancy way for someone to say that they don’t know something!)
But, bottom line, he found that crystals appear in forms thought not possible.
A famous scientist, double Nobel laureate, Linus Pauling, put it this way.
“There is no such thing as quasicrystals…
And what did the head of Shechtman’s research group say?
“Go back and read the textbook!”
And then he told him to leave for bringing disgrace to the team!
The Nobel Committee said this…
“His discovery was extremely controversial.
He forced scientists to reconsider the nature of matter.”
… Something struck me.
This story sounds a bit familiar.
It’s the story of the Jewish People.
Because we made a “discovery” atMount Sinai.
That G-d didn’t just create the world.
But He cares about how we live our lives.
He demands a life of morality and ethics.
And we made a “discovery” about man.
That each and every human being is created in the Image of G-d.
There is something of the G-dly in every person.
They’re entitled to respect and dignity.
And are capable of having a relationship with G-d.
… What did everyone say?
What did the “Nobel Prize winning” theologians say?
These people are crazy!
And 3000 years later?
Our discovery is the basis for Western morality!
And like Shechtman who forced scientists to rethink the nature of matter?
We forced the world to rethink the nature of the world!
And there’s something else we discovered.
That we are an Eternal People.
Mighty empires may try to destroy us…
But we will outlive them all.
… Which brings me to Purim.
On Purim we celebrate the miracle of Jewish survival.
We read the Megillah, the Book of Esther, which took place in Persia.
About the ancient Haman who wanted to destroy us.
And how G-d turned things around.
Because, as He promised, we’re an Eternal People.
And this year?
There’s a modern day Haman in Persia (Iran) who would like to wipe Israel off the map.
And Purim is a time that we declare that we will outlive Ahmadinejad as well!