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Thursday, 17 May, 2018 - 5:00 pm

A man takes a seat at a bar, and orders five shots. The bartender gives him an odd look since he’s alone, but he serves him and lines up the shots on the bar.

The man downs them all quickly. He finishes the last one and calls out, "Four shots, please!" The bartender serves four shots and lines them up on the bar. The man downs them all. Then he belches loudly, sways slightly on the stool, and orders three. And one after the other, he knocks them back. "Two shots!" he calls, and the bartender places two shots in front of him. Down they go. As the man slams the last one down on the bar, he says, "One shot, bartender."

So the bartender fills the glass. The man sits there, staring at it for a moment, trying to focus. Then he looks at the bartender and says, "You know, it's a funny thing, but the less I drink, the drunker I get."

Within living memory of the Holocaust, with thousands of Holocaust survivors still in our midst, a free, independent nation arose and pledged a second Holocaust, heaven forbid. Iran, unbashful, proclaimed numerous times in the most public fashion that it planned to wipe Israel, and the millions of Jews living there, off the map.

The Persian voice was one we are familiar with—it came out of Iran many years ago. It was the voice of Haman, who plotted—as the Megillah on Purim tells us—"to destroy, kill, and eliminate all the Jews, from young to old, children and women, in one day.”

Yes, within seven decades of Auschwitz and Treblinka, survivors were forced to hear a promise by Iran that another six million Jews would be decimated….

And what was the response of the nations of the world?

The great powers in the US and Europe struck a deal and even agreed to give Iran $150 billion. This was a repeat of what the Persian king said to Haman: “The money is yours and you can do with the nation as you please.”

We gave Iran the green light to pursue their diabolical agenda. The deal does nothing to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons in 10 years. Even the signers of the deal saw how Iran continues to be the greatest sponsor of terror in the world, but they did not put a stop to Iran’s creation of long-range ballistic missiles  to carry nuclear warheads to the enemies of Iran. They also observed that Iran was building many subterfuges—for what? Then, Israel demonstrated, through documents obtained from Iran, how Iran simply lied, and never ceased creating nuclear bombs even for a day. The entire deal was a farce, simply giving the Haman’s of our times an endless flow of cash to make it all happen!

Within days of signing this agreement, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini strongly reiterated Iran’s mission to annihilate Israel. Just four days after the deal was announced, he declared: “Whether the deal is approved or disapproved, we will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon. Even after this deal, our policy towards the arrogant US will not change.”

Shortly before the deal was signed, President Obama met several American Jewish leaders concerning the Iran deal. One of the people present at the White House meeting shared the following day that the President remarked: “If Iran attacks Israel, we will defend it.”

This Jew, Harold Friedman, said: “But that initial attack might claim 700,000 Jewish lives. We can’t afford that.”

The Megillah relates: Haman got his money and the green light to kill the Jews, “and the king and Haman sat down to drink. The city of Shushan was dumbfounded.” In our case, too, many leaders praised the deal as a historic achievement of diplomacy and peace. They maintained that the agreement with Iran is good as it has the capacity to bring Iran into “the community of nations.” We will no longer isolate Iran and will thus be able to influence them to be more peaceful and logical.

Iran is far more dangerous than ISIS. Iran openly calls for genocide, for wiping out the millions of Jews living in Israel from the map. Khomeini said multiple times that the destruction of Israel is non-negotiable. No country in the world is committed to annihilating another country, besides Iran. Iran funds and directs the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah, the most powerful military organization in Lebanon. It is the major funder of Hamas, which plans Israel's destruction daily. Yet we agreed to give them $150 billion!

Churchill once said, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” This is how we Jews felt when the deal went through.

But this week, a great miracle happened. “On that night, the king could not sleep,” says the Megillah. As the Midrash explains, this refers also to the King of the world—who decided to once again come through on His promise to His beloved people.

The president of the United States canceled the American deal with Iran. His speech essentially said that the days of the Iranian mullahs controlling us are over. We will not allow vicious blood-thirsty tyrants to hold America hostage to their ambitions to plunge our planet into oceans of violence and bloodshed. We will not appease and help regimes who crave the destruction of millions of innocent men, women and children. We will stand up to evil—first and foremost, by calling a spade a spade!

This was a moment of moral clarity for the entire world to see. Whenever moral clarity shines, the world becomes a better place. At this moment, goodness, decency, and the honor of life shone forth in full glory, and it lifted America and the world from years of being covered in the dark clouds of moral ambiguity, appeasement to mass murderers, absence of moral leadership, and empty deals and promises that allowed dictators to control the agenda and terrorize their people and the free world.

It was a special moment for the Jewish people. Haman was exposed for his ruthless hatred, deception, and evil. “Will you conquer the queen with me at home?” Achashverosh challenged Haman in the Megillah. Similarly, President Trump declared to the mullahs of Iran: Will you continue to control us like puppets and get  billions from us to spread death and terror?

“For the Jews there was light, joy, happiness and glory.”

This has nothing to do with your views of Trump and PM Netanyahu. Try and escape the trap of yet another moral haze; this is not politics. We are confronted by a modern-day Hitler who wants us gone, and are thankful that the president stood up to them decisively and with resolve.

This is a day to declare the words of Psalms, chapter 117: Praise G-d, all nations; laud Him, all peoples. For His kindness over us has overwhelmed us, and the truth of G-d is eternal. Hallelujah!

The Chatam Sofer asks: Why should the nations praise G-d for His kindness to US? Shouldn't we praise G-d for His grace toward His people?

The answer is keen and perceptive. The nations know of G-d’s kindness to us, far more than we Jews. Why? Because they who plot our downfall know in their hearts how vicious their plots are. They know, far more than we will ever know, how much they really wanted to bring us down. They are the ones who can truly appreciate G-d's kindness toward the Jews—since they know the hatred lingering in their hearts to G-d’s people.

Nobody can understand the miracles of this week as well as the tyrannical leaders of Iran!

Indeed, some people who cherish appeasement predicted the worst. What will Iran do now? Will Israel not be far worse off? So Iran sent a few rockets to the Golan Heights. Thank G-d, nobody was hurt. Israel responded harshly, and Iran declared that it is not interested in any escalation of violence now.

There is only one way to deal with sharks: Strength, moral clarity, determination, and no compromises. You don’t compromise with cancer inside a body, because if you do, it will kill. You get rid of it. Even if you can’t get rid of it, you do not let it grow, because then it has a free pass to spread slowly and finish one off.

Yes, this is a time to thank the United States of America for its display of leadership and moral goodness and clarity; it is a time to stand strong with our brothers and sisters in Israel, surrounded by enemies all around. And it is time to thank Almighty G-d for His miracles on behalf of the people of Israel and good people the world over.

May G-d grand us the ultimate light, joy and glory, when peace and love saturate the entire planet, and when Israel experiences its true and ultimate redemption, with the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days, Amen! 

Shabbat Shalom and A Happy Shavuot,
Rabbi Yoseph Geisinsky

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