America Is Not Different
The Megila, which we read on Purim, describes how Mordechai refused to bow down to the wicked Haman. Our Sages tell us that it is because Mordechai refused to bow down that he was called "Mordechai Hayehudi" He was given this title even though he was not from the tribe of Yehuda (Judah), but rather from the tribe of Benjamin.
"Yehuda" is from the word "hoda'ah," meaning "to acknowledge." The Talmud states that when a person rejects idol worship, it is as if he has acknowledged the entire Torah. By refusing to bow to Haman (and the idol he wore around his neck), Mordechai was acknowledging the truth of the entire Torah. For this reason, he is called "Mordechai Hayehudi." And it is for this same reason that all Jews, regardless of their tribe, are called "Yehudim"- Jews, for they acknowledge the truth of G-d's Torah.
The days of Purim teach us a lesson for all times: The Jewish people may be a minority in the world. They may be scattered among all the nations. But when it comes to Torah and mitzvot everyone must see that the Jewish people bow before no one. They do not bow before other nations or their beliefs, but stand tall with all their might for the Torah, the inheritance of the Jewish people.
On the ninth day of Adar in 1940, the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, arrived in the United States of America. Like Mordechai, the Previous Rebbe refused to bow down to the "idols" of communism, assimilation, and modernism. In fact, when he came to the United States and began implementing his many projects for the revitalization of Judaism, he was told by many people that he would not be successful with such traditional programs in the "Goldene Medina." To this comment, the Previous Rebbe resolutely responded, "America is not different."
The hundreds of Chabad-Lubavitch Centers throughout North America are testimony to the truth of the Previous Rebbe's words.
There is far more that unites the Jewish people than what divides us. On this holiday of Purim, may we acknowledge, recognize and focus on that which makes us "Yehudim," until we experience the ultimate unification of all the Jewish people with G-d, in the Final Redemption