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A Valuable Lesson From Haman

"Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction."

Erich Fromm [If he would have been an Orthodox Jew his name would have been Erich Frum]

The gemara in Chullin [139] wonders where we find an allusion to Haman in the Torah. The gemara answers that after Adam ate from the tree of knowledge, G-d said "Did you eat from the tree I told you to avoid?!" as it says "Hamin Ha'aytz..." ["Hamin" sounds like "Haman"].

Excuse me, but that seems very strange. Is this a word game? Haman - Hamin? And what on earth is Haman doing in Gan Eden - he belongs in Gehinnom!

The Rebbe Shlita explained as follows: Adam was in Gan Eden and had millions of trees to choose from. He was told "Eat from all of the trees. Enjoy! Just refrain from eating from one tree - the Tree of Knowledge. Don't worry though, you have everything you need. It is only one little tree." Adam didn't listen and he HAD to eat from the forbidden tree. Unbelievable.

Haman was on top of the world. He had political power, gozillions of dollars, a large family, he was invited to a special party with the king and queen and everybody was bowing down to him [see 5/11,12]. He lacked nothing. Except one thing. One "lousy Jew" refused to bow down to him. So what Haman - so Mordechai won't bow down to you. What's the big deal. You have everything. Get a life, dude!! Nooo, not Haman. He couldn't enjoy anything as long as he lacked one small thing. "Vichol zeh ainenu shaveh lee" - It ain't worth nuttin' if Mordechai won't bow down to me [5/13]. Everything but one tree - Adam. Everything but one Jew - Haman.

Now we understand the gemara in Chullin! "Haman" - "Hamin". Not merely a play on words but rather a much deeper connection.

Let us be happy with what we have. We don't want Haman to be our guide.

haman was a high-ranking official, and his greed this rings true for many politicians today. just look at what's been going on in new york this week.

Where is New York?

its not such a majestic place!

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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