Ahmedinejad = Haman?
Is Ahmedinejad a Haman-like figure? He certainly sounds like one.
Is he the Haman-like figure that is mentioned in the Gemara Sanhedrin 97b and elsewhere whom Hashem will establish against the Jewish people if we don't repent?
Is Teheran's recall of 40 moderate ambassadors to make all their emissaries tow the party line akin to Haman's evil decree that was sent throughout the world to go along with Haman's wishes?
We definitely live in scary times.
Let's take a look at a similar Hazal from the Yerushalmi in Ta'anit:
אמר לו רבי אליעזר: "הקב"ה מעמיד עליהן מלך קשה כהמן, ומיד הן עושין תשובה - והן נגאלין". מאי טעמא? ועת צרה היא ליעקב - וממנה יוושע.
The Pasuk of ועת צרה היא ליעקב - וממנה יוושע is used. עת צרה (time of trouble) has a gematria of 765. 5765 was last year - actually, the year that Ahmedinejad came to power.
This year of 5766 (or, really 766), as Rabbi Lazer Brody pointed out, has the gematria of תשובה מאהבה - repentance from love. Could this be the year that we do Teshuva based on our love of Hashem? Perhaps so.
Now, you may ask, "If we only do Teshuva based on a wicked ruler, isn't that by definition, not Teshuva from love, but rather Teshuva based on fear of punishment?"
Well, that's a good question. However, just look at what happened near the end of the Purim story. The Jews were Kiyemu VeKibelu - they accepted the Torah a second time from love of the miracle done for them (as Rashi says in Shabbat 88a). That sounds like Teshuva Me'ahava to me.
Let's hope this year will see a great renaissance of Teshuva Me'ahava and that great miracles will be done for us too, just as in the Purim story, bimhera veyamenu, amen.