Purim – the holiday of
opposites – joy vs. grief, concealment vs. disclosure, Mordechay vs.
Haman, genocide vs. redemption.
What is the true story
behind this holiday?
Which forces act in the open
and what goes on behind the scenes of this juicy holiday?
A Kabbalist is a person who
seeks deep inside the causes for the events in his life . It is
evident to him that whatever it is he is about to discover, already
lies within him, waiting. All he has to learn is how to come in
contact with the force that makes things happen. That force will
lead and guide him to control the future events of his life, his
personal happiness and the bounty that will flow through him to the
whole of mankind.
In the eyes of Kabbalah,
Megilat Esther tells of the forces that unfold in the innermost
parts of man. Forces that tell of what one discovers with one’s
relationship with the Creator, the forces that guides the events of
everybody’s life. These forces are called Mordechay, Esther, Haman,
The story of Purim unfolds
before the building of the second temple, shortly before the
immigration to the Land of Israel. It tells of the last battle
before the final correction (Gmar Tikun). At this stage, the people
of Israel- which symbolizes our inner aspirations to spirituality-
lives calmly and peacefully in the kingdom of Ahashverosh.
Mordechay, the inner force
within a Jew, which wants nothing more than to cling to the Creator
and worship Him, lived happily and the kingdom was at peace.
The people of Israel represents
the majority of the desires that want to go straight (Hebrew –
Yashar) to (Hebrew – El and also God) the leader of the world and to
learn from him the law of the universe and how to enjoy it.
Indeed, in the beginning of the
story, the narrative insinuates that there is something wrong:
“There is one nation that is scattered among the nations”. It is
this nation, that is supposed to be united against all other nations
that want only their own gratification, this nations, who’s strength
comes solely from its unity, that is dispersed. It is a sure sign
that man has not yet fullfilled its destiny, for only the people of
Israel can lead mankind to its goal, bonding with its Creator .
The evil Haman, who represents
the egotistical in us, the opposite of the Jew, wants to exploit the
situation for self gain. He eventually wants to overthrow the king
from his thrown.
He believes that the fact that
the Jews are dispersed testifies to their weakness, confusion and
lack of faith. Therefore he finds the situation to be a rate
opportunity to eliminate the Jews from the face of the earth, as
they are the sole force that stands between him and exploiting the
What Haman fails to understand,
however, is that the Jews are dispersed for a reason. It stems from
the fact that the people of Israel has risen to a higher level now.
That higher level means a
direct and open contact with the Creator. A bond so open, no one
will be able to deny. Indeed we see the truth of it when at the end
of the story, all peoples reform. The meaning is that all the
desires in man, called Peoples, accept the main force that leads to
confidence and happiness, called Israel.
The Jew in a man is limited.
That limitation can only be overcome by the evil Haman. That is why
we need to find the Haman within us.
The beginning of the story
tells how Mordechay the Jew saved the king from the two assassins
Bigtan and Teresh. Naturally, we would expect the king to pay him
for his deed, perhaps a raise, or any other kind of reward.
But things aren’t quite that
simple, for Mordechay is the Israel in man, it wants nothing but to
be in contact with its maker. It wants no personal gain; therefore
you cannot give it any gift, for it will not accept it.
Thus, to our surprise, we read
that it isn’t Mordechay who’s honored, but Haman who out of all
candidates gets the honors, when the king appoints him head of all
the ministers. Haman gets total domination of the kingdom and all
the king’s slaves are ordered to bow before him. That means that the
egoism has now risen to its maximum proportion.
Of all the people, only
Mordechay refuses to bow before anyone but the king himself. The
reason for that is that there is always a voice in man that tells
him who the real king is and to whom he remains loyal whichever the
cost. Even is he’s the only one who still remembers it, even when
the whole town of Shushan is bewildered and confused. Even when his
life is threatened, the loyal Israelite chooses loyalty to his king
before anything else.
It is only through magnifying
Haman’s ego to the proportion it grew that the people could realize
how right Mordechay’s way was.
The difference between the road
Haman takes and that of Mordechay is the core around which the story
Haman wants to exploit the king
and use him to take over the kingdom. He thinks only of himself and
epitomizes the most vile force in man his desire to rule the world
at all cost, even that of his own destruction.
Mordechay’s only goal, on the
other hand, is to unveil the true leader of the world and to learn
from him how to conduct himself. Therefore he cannot be bribed in
any way. He can stand at the king’s castle and guard the gate while
everyone bows before Haman. There is no price to his loyalty. He
knows that the day will come when everyone realizes it, but he also
understands that he cannot impose his mind on others.
Haman gets control of the
kingdom, precisely for the purpose of increasing his desires. The
egoism is revealed so that man will realize the destructive forces
that dwell within him. Haman decides to utilize the power he’s been
given in order to carry out his plan to destroy his primary enemy –
the Israel within us.
He carefully plans his actions,
prepares the tree and the rope, confident that in a few moments, the
person standing between him and fulfilling his dream, will have been
Haman is then asked – what is
to be done with the man the king holds dear? Being certain that it
is him the king holds dear, he suggests that he’d be seated on a
horse (the inner force in man) and publicly declare: “Thus will be
done with the man the king holds dear”).
At this point the people of
Israel unite. Their collective prayer for the success of Esther’s
mission, representing the force of faith, mends what at first
appeared to be a separation amongst the people. That correction
allows her to address the king directly, which is the great miracle
of Purim. Prior to that, no one could address the king that way.
Only the united force of the people, in prayer for help, gave her
the necessary defense to come out of hiding (Heb: hEster) and into
the revelation of the king’s face. She reveals the king’s true aim –
to bestow to all the creatures.
Then Haman (the egotistical
force in man) discovers the fraud, but it is too late for him. He
discovers that the purpose of man’s work is to reveal the king’s
domination and benevolence. He realizes he was but a tool in the
hands of the king, whos true desire was to cultivate Mordechay.
But at this point he cannot
change the sentence he himself had passed.
It is but for the great desire
of Haman to rule the kingdom, that Mordechay gets the honor and
publicity he deserves.
Thus the desires of man
discover the king’s intent to bestow to its creatures and the right
way to reach Him, the way of the Israel within.
Israel is the desire in man
to be in perpetual contact with He who runs reality, with the
Israel is he who remembers at
all times who governs our lives and utilizes every opportunity to
fortify the bond with Him.
Israel is he who never
despairs when facing grave difficulties along the way, for he is
certain that they only rise so as to reveal the King’s
Israel is he who finally sees
the just of his way come out into the light through the
unification of the forces for the purpose of his life.
Israel is he who turns
concealment into revelation and writes with his deeds the story of
Author: G. Shadmon
Translator: C. Ratz
Editor: C. Marce