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Thursday, March 17

The Weekly Shtikle - Purim

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h.

When Haman first cements his deal with Achashveirosh to proceed with his plan to destroy the Jews, he is referred to (3:10) as "Haman, tzorer hayehudim," Haman, the oppressor of the Jews. This same term is used two more times. However, much later, after his demise, in the very last mentioning of his name (9:24) he is called "tzorer kol hayehudim."

When the decree first came out, there was undoubtedly a sentiment that this whole predicament was brought about by Mordechai's stubbornness. If only he would have just complied and capitulated, things wouldn't be so dire. What would follow is the notion that Haman really didn't want to destroy the entire nation – only Mordechai and those of his ilk. Therefore, Mordechai is to blame.

To dispel this view, the megillah reveals Haman's true essence. This is done not as part of the story but as part of the explanation for why we all celebrate the holiday of Purim as one nation. Haman had a deep-seated enmity for the entire Jewish people. Mordechai may have been his excuse but he was not the cause. Malbim offers a very similar idea to explain the addition of the word kol.

The lesson conveyed in the megillah is indeed one for the ages and applicable to every generation. It is often tempting to point to a group, a movement or an event and declare, "That is why they hate us." Not only is this misguided, it is dangerous as it sows internal discord which is exactly what our enemies want. Seeing our foes as tzorerei kol hayehudim helps us stay united and keep the proper focus on our challenges together.

Purim samei'ach and good Shabbos!

Mishenichnas Adar marbim be'simchah

Please see my Purim archives for some more insightful (not inciteful) thoughts on Purim

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikdukian: Dikdukian Posts on Megillas Esther


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