Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rationalizing the Megillah Nuremberg Prophecy

When I was in 5th grade I was introduced to something found in Megillat Esther that i thought was the absolute coolest thing in the entire world.

The megillah lists the ten sons of Haman who were killed.  If you look at a standard written megillah you will see that of the 100+ letters that make up the text of the 10 sons of Haman, 3 of those letters are always written in small print.

From time immemorial, every scribe who wrote a megillah was instructed that when writing a megillah make sure that these specific three letters are written in small print:
1. the letter tav in ParshandaTa
2. the letter Shin in ParhaSHta
3. the letter zayin in vayiZata

and for over 2000 years that is just the way it was.  I am sure that people gave reasons why they thought these letters had to be small, but for the most part people just went with it and attributed these letters to the few other times in Tanach that there are small and sometimes large letters.

But these 3 letters gained significance about 65 years ago of all places at the Nuremberg trials after the Holocaust.

In October of 1946, 23 Nazi war criminals were charged - 10 were sentenced to hanging.  The last man hung was Julius Streicher, a prominent Nazi prior to War II.  According to eye witness accounts, when he ascended the gallows, right before he died he suddenly cried out, "Purim Fest 1946!" and with that he was executed.

It would suffice as an interesting parallel in its own right that at the hanging of 10 men who sought to destroy the Jews in modern times he referenced the holiday when we celebrate the hanging of 10 men in ancient times who sought to do the same thing.  But the coincidence is much greater.

The Hebrew year in October of 1946 was 5707 - in Hebrew notated with the three letters tav, shin, zayin.

In fifth grade it was absolutely clear to me that the Mordechai and Esther, the authors of the megillah, with some sort of prophetic wisdom embedded a hint that at some time in the future once again the enemies of the Jews would pay for their wickedness in a similar manner.

Now that I am a bit older, I am also a bit more skeptical.  I don't really believe in things like the Torah codes and I can usually find a good rational explanation for a good gematria.

But this one still stumps me.  This is too much of coincidence.  10 hangings.  3 letters.  The dramatic cry before the hanging.  How could it be anything but divine?

Could it be that the letters were only made small post 1946?  I have never seen a pre-1946 megillah but I suspect that the letters were small then also.

Could it be that the story of Streicher is a myth?

I am looking for an answer to this.  Any ideas?  Or could it be that Biblical prophecy exists?