וכל זה איננו שוה לי
The villain of the Purim story is Haman ben Hamedata, a descendant of Amaleq. King Ahashverosh appointed Haman as his “Grand Vizier” (or prime minister) and, as explained yesterday, issued the order (Esther 3: 2) that all court officials should kneel before Haman. Everyone followed the king’s order, except for one man: Mordekhai. And when Haman learned that Mordekhai did not bow before him, he decided to eliminate all the people of Mordekhai: the Jewish nation.
Haman was evil, but he was not foolish. Actually, it seems that he was an evil genius. Take, for example, the way he managed to carry out his version of “the final solution”. First, he had to persuade Ahashverosh. To do this, he presented his plan as something that benefited the King, and not as his personal vendetta(Ch. 3: 8). Persuading the King was not very difficult. Among other things, because Haman presented a plan with “zero” operating costs. What’s more: in exchange for the executive order of the King, Haman offered a lot of money for the royal treasury (3: 9).
Now, how did Haman plan to recruit tens of thousands of soldiers to find and execute hundreds of thousands of Jews, scattered throughout the Persian Empire, from Turkey to China?
Haman devised an evil plan, which is briefly described in the Megilla with just two words: ושללם לבוז ( “and their belongings will be for plunder”). Haman’s decree said something like this: “On the 13th of Adar, every subject of the Persian empire will be allowed to kill Jews. Police would not oppose, and nobody will be prosecuted for this. And what’s more: whoever kills a Jew , can keep his or her money, property, valuables, etc. ” With his “genius” plan, there was no need to distract the army from its obligations, and there was no need to pay for costly transportation to take the Jews to concentration camps, or operating the gas chambers.
Our Rabbis explain that there was no shortage of volunteers. Many people, especially those who did not like Jews, were fighting against each other so that when the day comes, they would be the first to kill the Jews, and keeping their goods ….
If Haman had succeeded (and he was very close!) It would have been the end of our people ח”ו ….
In the end, as we all know, with the help of HaShem, Queen Esther and Mordekhai were able to disrupt the evil plan of Haman, who ended up paying his evil intentions with his own life.
The Megilla also provides us a glimpse into the psychological profile of Haman. In chapter 5, verse 13, when Hamas is at home with his wife and friends, after attending as a guest of honor at a special dinner with the King and Queen, and without suspecting that Esther is designing a plan to counter his, we witness an unusual dialogue, almost a monologue, in which Haman makes a kind of catharsis of his feelings. First, Haman acknowledged his immense power, his incredible wealth and honor, etc. What follows is really surprising. Haman, amazingly admits that (Esther 5:13): “And all this [my power, my wealth, my family] has no value for me, when I see Mordekhai the Jew,”sitting” on the gate of the royal court [ i.e., and he does not kneel before me].”
Haman, was probably one of the most powerful men in the history of mankind. Even his personal life was very successful. He had a wife who supported him and a lot of children. And yet, it took one person, Mordekhai, who did not bow down in front of him, to make his ego collapse, exposing the emotional fragility of this powerful man.
Haman suffered from a high dose of ga-ava, arrogance, at the level of megalomania: the obsession with the exercise of power, especially for dominance and control over others.
Haman’s endless arrogance led to his own downfall.