Ethics is the philosophical study of moral values and rules based on what is right from wrong.
Morals is the standard of behavior, to act accordingly to the principles of knowing right from wrong. The moral of a story is the lesson we learn, the meaning and lesson we take from it.
Values are our moral code, something we take from our cultural beliefs and standards.
We will soon celebrate Purim in commemoration of the time Jews were freed from persecution. It is interesting that it happened in Persia, which is now Iran. Esther and Mordechai did their part to save the Jews of that region from a certain death. Now we are still fighting to exist in the same region. The Arab League is more powerful and deadly than ever. Its members don’t just want to conquer their lands but all lands. Its nuclear arsenal expands daily, but the last Administration handed over billions of dollars more for its perverted use.
How can we rejoice on Purim knowing that? How can we dress our daughters as Queen Esther knowing that her fight is still going on, that any Jews left in the region more recently have been tortured and slaughtered? How can our sons dress as Mordechai leading the Jews to a better life when Jews in Arab lands are persecuted, raped and murdered? In fact, it is not only Jews suffering, but anyone who does not adhere to an ancient fundamentalist code.
Persia was a land rich in knowledge, proud of its heritage. People from the region living as our neighbors, whether Jew, Christian or Muslim, try to keep their culture alive. Walk into any Persian grocery and smell the fresh baked bread and aromatic dishes. Persians are much like us. If they take pride in calling themselves “Iranian,” they live for the post-Shah days of the Ayatollahs and need to be watched more carefully. These are the descendants of Haman.
“Megillat Esther,” the story read twice on Purim, is likely from the 4th or 5th century BCE. Ii is interesting that Islam did not become a religion until several centuries later.
King Ahasuerus gave Haman’s home to Queen Esther. What an honor for a woman at that time to be given ownership of house and land. In many lands today, women cannot even drive a car. King Ahasuerus ruled lands from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, that Jews were able to settle. In fact, not only could they live there; they were able to take the land and even lives of those who had previously persecuted them.
The Lost Tribes of Israel who were scattered to other lands would finally be able to live in peace. That was until the Muslim Conquest a few centuries later that destroyed the peace. Now ancestors of these people are doing it again, and all too many Christians and Jews stand and march with them. It is not enough that the Arab League of 22 nations is intolerant of others; they also want our blessed homeland Israel. We know this, because the Iran nuclear deal contract has been breached, and rockets are fired into Israel daily. It is time we stood together to do our part to make sure Hashem our G-d’s words are heard again.
The moral is we must learn right from wrong, good from evil and know who our true enemies are. Those that want to destroy Israel, destroy the value system we have been raised with, are not our friends. Whereas our Jewish culture teaches us to be humanitarians, we also must be wary of our enemies as we have been persecuted enough throughout our history. We can be ethical, moral beings and still keep our eyes open knowing that others do not have the same value system.