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As this "proof" that future events are encoded in the Torah pops up every year for Purim, here (again) the main points.

First the "proof" or "prophecy" or whatever:

  1. The list of names of Haman’s ten sons (Esther 9:6-10) is traditionally written with three small letters (tav 400 shin 300 and zayin 7) and a large letter (vav 6) which references the year 707 in the sixth millenium, i.e., the Jewish year 5707.
  2. In Esther 9:13, the queen asks for the sons of Haman to be hanged in the future tense – although they had already been killed (verse 10).
  3. On October 16, 1946 (21 Tishrei, 5707) ten convicted Nazi war criminals were put to death in Nuremberg. This was Hoshana Raba, the day when G-d’s Yom Kippur judgments are sealed and made final.
  4. There were eleven men convicted, but only ten executed (just like the ten sons of Haman).
  5. Execution was by hanging, not shot dead by a firing squad as usual for military trials.
  6. One of them was Julius Streicher and his last words were "Purimfest 1946"

Why this is not a "proof" of anything? (Hat Tip Ephraim Rubin: Purim 1946? Not Exactly, DovBear: Purimfest 1946!! )

  1. The taf-shin-zayin combination equals 707. The vav equals 6. Why 6 should mean the millennium is unclear. Why not 6707? Also, there are several traditions of large and small letters, for examples the Yeminites have a different tradition. There are also other traditions for the interpretation of these letters (see here).
  2. Esther 9:13 may be understood as a reference to the future, but more probable she is simply asking that the dead sons of Haman be put on the gallows as a warning for the other enemies of the Jews.
  3. On Hoshana Raba only the fates of the beynonim are made final, those who are neither fully righteous nor fully evil. The Nazis surely would not fall into this category. For the others judgements are already sealed on Yom Kippur. Also, teshuva is possible until the last minute, so they should have been hanged just AFTER this day, not ON this day. Additionally, the sentences were handed down already on Tuesday, October 1 (6 Tishrei, no special significance) and only carried out on Hoshana Raba.
  4. There were 24 men on trial, 12 of them were sentenced to death. Of these twelve, Goering committed suicide and could not be hanged, and Bormann was tried an absence and actually had already died in 1945. So yes, 10 hanged, but no reference to suicidal or absent sons in Esther.
  5. They were deemed "not worthy" of a military death. Also Hamans sons were not killed by hanging, they were put on the gallows after they were already dead (Esther 9:10,13).
  6. Streicher knew Judaism well, because he used it for his propaganda. Purim important to the Nazis because it showed how "bloodthirsty" Jews really are. He probably wanted to say that he himself is one of the innocent victims, just like those that the Jews killed in Persia. There are also claims he shoutet "The Bolsheviks will hang you all one day!" afterwards.

Also, what is the connection? What do we want to say with the analogy? In the Purim story, the Jews are saved, in the shoah sadly they were not. In the Purim story the main thing is that Haman gets his punishment (his sons only by association), in this story we focus on some ten Nazis but ignore that Hitler was not hanged. Also, if G-d really wanted to hint to some future event during that time period, why wasn’t it a warning about the shoah instead of some reference to some Nazi trial? What does this say about G-d?

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