The villain of Purim and Adam in the Bible were similar with regard to one fatal flaw: their obsession with the one thing they lacked, at the expense of appreciation for the many blessings they had received.
By Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel
The Talmud teaches that the villain of the Purim story, Haman, is actually alluded to in the Torah in the verse in which God asks Adam, “Did you eat from this tree?” In Hebrew, the words “from this” (“hamin”) are spelled exactly the same as “Haman.” Hence, the connection.
It’s fine and dandy that we found the word “Haman” in the Torah itself. But is there a deeper connection between Haman and this particular verse besides a few thoughts more suitable for a game of Scrabble or Pictionary? The answer is a resounding yes! It is not for nothing that this specific verse is where we find a veiled allusion to the villain of the Purim story.
Think of that verse and the story of Adam and Eve. Adam had everything. The entire world was at his fingertips. He lacked nothing. All was given to him. He had the best wife in the world (literally!). All his desires were fulfilled.
Nevertheless, Adam was not satisfied. He was upset that there was a tree whose fruit he was forbidden to eat. One single tree. Alas, he couldn’t resist, and as we know, he sinned and ate from the forbidden tree which led to his downfall.
Haman was the same. Haman was someone who had everything. He was rich. He had a good job, a loving wife, and a large family – everything any of us could ask for! But the fact that Mordechai the Jew would not bow down to him drove him bananas. His obsession with simply having it ALL –even Mordechai’s devotion– led to his downfall.
This is the deeper connection between the word “Haman” and the verse that discusses Adam’s sin of the forbidden fruit. Both men had it all. There was just one thing that they had to give up on, and their egos just wouldn’t let them. A person can have almost everything in the world, but still not be satisfied. That, my friends, is the sad connection between Adam and Haman, and the very real reason that Haman is alluded to in that verse.
This is an important lesson for us. Purim is the holiday of happiness, and happiness is what we make of it, ourselves, and our life. If you’re reading this then you are probably well off and secure, not lacking anything too important. Be sure to take the happiness of Purim and let it remain with you long after the holiday is over, finding happiness in all that you have, without jealousy or focusing on what you lack.