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The Tomb of Mordechai and Esther Has Been Set Alight in Iran

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

Did you know that the tombs of Mordechai and Esther, the heroes of the Purim story, exist today? Well not for long, if some arsonists and extremists in Iran would have their way.

The tomb was first mentioned by the medieval Jewish world traveler, Benjamin of Tudela, who marked numerous sites throughout the Jewish world (such as the Tomb of King David in Jerusalem. [Side note: If in my previous academic days - before I was a tour guide of Israel - I had stayed on to do a master's degree, my thesis was going to be a comparative look at the medieval travelogues of Marco Polo (Christian), Ibn Battuta (Muslim) and

Benjamin of Tudela (Jewish)].

Unfortunately it is not the first incident of vandalism against Jewish holy sites in the Muslim world. During the Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem from 1949-1967, they used the Western Wall as a latrine and took the tombstones from the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives to pave a road. When Israel pulled out from Palestinian towns in 1996 as part of the Oslo II agreement, some Palestinians torched the Tomb of Joseph in Nablus (which has been repeatedly attacked). This led to Israel refusing to hand over the Tomb of Rachel by Bethlehem. And these are just to name a few...

For more about the history of the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai - and the vandalism which sadly just occurred there - check out the article below:

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