Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stalin and Purim

(Last year I posted the following comment [which I have edited very little] at Cross-Currents:)
Other times, the Adar coincidences are more obviously meaningful, clearly linked to Purim. A few Adars ago, a striking irony emerged from a new book about Joseph Stalin.

Well I had heard this before but felt like I should do a little research to try to confirm it, not to second guess Rabbi Shafran but… At first the only date which seemed to pop up was the 5th of March, the day he actually died, but then:
The night of 28 February began in the usual manner for Stalin and his closest political circle, Lavrenty Beria, Nikita Khrushchev, Nikolai Bulganin and Georgi Malenkov. They watched a film in the Kremlin then retired to Stalin’s country home, 10 minutes outside Moscow, for yet another night of feasting. By the early hours of 1 March, Stalin’s guests had gone back to their homes in Moscow…..The guards began to get worried, but no one dared to go into his rooms. They had no right to disturb Stalin unless invited into his presence personally. At 6.30 a light came on in Stalin’s rooms, and the guards relaxed a little. But by the time 10 o’clock had chimed they were petrified. Lozgachev was finally sent in to check on Stalin…..The guards rushed to call Stalin’s drinking companions, the Politburo.
And from the Library of Congress website:
Stalin collapsed on March 1, 1953, and remained unconscious until he died on March 5. Khrushchev said he didn’t receive immediate medical care because Stalin’s advisers at first thought he was drunk and would regain consciousness. “He was on the floor and they brought him [up] on the sofa,” said Khrushchev.
It does appear that Stalin “began” dying on March 1st after a drinking party, and it seems that March first that year was in fact Purim:
Viewed through the lens of emunah we can see the hashgacha.

***After scheduling this to appear a few days later to give more time for the prior post, it occurred to me that I scheduled it to appear on March 1, the 56th anniversary of the events in the post on the solar calendar. 

(Minor Edits 2/22/18)

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