Michael Rogatchi (C). Silver Thread. Psalms Country. 1992

With daily grimmest possible and impossible discoveries, still shocking news, details and stories, some of the events of an utter importance are left unnoticed as they should. 

In the most peaceful and kindest country on earth called Iran, the tomb of Mordechai and Esther, the heroes of Purim, savers of Jews, was intruded in Hamadan, not for  the first time, but this time, just three days ago, the intrusion was specific. 

For one, the gate into the compound of the tomb  was broken, and not by an uncontrollable mob, but by several solid men who came there carrying on their mission, or order, or both, were absolutely assured of what they were doing, absolutely calm, as they knew that there would be no resistance whatsoever. 

Those men came to carry on their order with no agitation whatsoever,  they were executing what they were ordered to do. Inside the compound, they in a clam-and-sure motion burned the Israeli flag. All was filmed, this is how we know. It has happened for the first time in history when an act of vandalism of this sort had occurred inside the Mordechai and Esther tomb’s compound which is actually the property of the Iranian Jewish community, officially so. 

We also know that the tomb itself was vandalised, expectedly, but still it is terrifying. Inside the compound and the tomb, there are many very important Jewish figures buried. It is also terrifying because additionally to the Mordechai and Esther tomb, the tombs  of prophets Daniel and Habakkuk are also in that most peaceful and so accommodating country of Iran. 

The calmed self-assured men who came into the compound as to their own courtyard to burn the Israeli flag there, were the part of unfolding scheme in which now the appointed Iranian MPs have started the proceeding of official petitioning to transfer the Mordechai and Esther tombs, the most sacred place for the Iranian Jewry, and one of the most sacred ones in the entire Jewish history and for Jews world-wide, from the ownership of the Jewish community which bought it for an astronomic , of course, price, to the other hands, ‘to transform it into the place of Islamic interest’, as is written in the official petition and motion submitted within the National Assembly, the Iranian parliament. 

Not only the burning of the Israeli flag inside the Mordechai and Esther tombs compound was unprecedented, but there are other unprecedented signs which signal alarm from that so peaceful country, as for example, the raising of the black flag in Tehran on the second, if not first day of the October 2023 massacre. In Islam,  the black flag means the flag of Mohammad, and it is a battle flag. With connection with the raising of the black flag in Tehran two and half weeks ago, there are some explanations coming in the Western sources and aiming to calm the public down, saying that the meaning of it is a mourning over the victims of Gaza. A nice try , of course. The thing is only that the flag was raised before any Gazan victims fell.  

At the same time, in Nablus, a wild nasty crowd was storming the Joseph tomb  which has been under so many attempts of attacks repeatedly. The channelised hyper-anger of a mob directed to the sacred places of Judaism might be seen by some as a sort of ‘a collateral damage’. But it is not. Very far from it. 

As we are praying for our victims, and for the safety of people in Israel, our IDF forces, and the Jews all around the world, many of whom are under unprecedented direct threats, we are also praying for all of our sacred places , their safety and integrity. Because it is from these places where our strength originates. The strength which keeps us up for 3 700 years. And counting.