purim talk 2016

Noahide Seven Commandments Torah classes

© 2016 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner

Purim talk

Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference

You may not recognize me in this incarnation, but I am Haman the son of Amdtata the descendant of Amalek, and I am here to tell you why I am alive again and that I’ve decided to convert to Judaism. Yes, you’ve heard me right: I, Haman, intend to convert to Judaism today.
How can I explain this to you? The Babylonian General, Nevuzaradan, who destroyed the First Temple, also converted to Judaism. He did that when he learned that Jeremiah had foretold the destruction he had committed. Hence, he concluded, the Torah speaks the truth, and he accepted the yoke of HaSheM. .
Well, I am not Nevuzaradan, but Amalek’s mother, Timna, wished too to join Judaism. She, (a nice woman) wanted to marry one of Jacob’s sons, but was rejected. (How dared they?) Then, in (her justified) rage she married Esau’s son, Elifaz, to whom she begot Amalek. She bequeathed to Amalek a felling of disgust and hatred to Jacob mixed with his mother milk.
When Jacob wrestled with Esau’s Angel, they sometime hit each other with fists, and sometimes hugged like brothers. This went on all night long. A cloud of dust arose from under their feet. (The Angel was awesome, magnificent, and Jacob looked faint and weak in comparison)
And whenever they used fists, Jacob prevailed. But whenever they hugged, Esau’s prevailed and Jacob stumbled and almost fell.
The Angel hugged Jacob and said: “My brother, I come to you with 400 armed men to destroy you. But I offer you peace: Join me and become one of us…” (Wasn’t it nice?)

Jacob however said: “I don’t believe in your peace. You are a master of liars. You haunt people by your mouth and rhetoric then smite them. How can I trust you?”

Esau’s Angel (wallowed the insult) and said: I have changed. I recognize your truth. You’ve fought all your life for JUSTICE and Civil Order, mishpat (as it says, “give emeth, truth to Jacob.”) You’ve fought me for your birthright; fought Lavan for the right to marry the woman you love without being cheated, and for your right to be compensated fairly for your hard work. So join me and I’ll secure your rights…” Again, Esau’s Angel was so right…)
But tiny Jacob said: “I don’t believe in your justice. Hasn’t our father said that you live by your sword?” (You see how crook was Jacob?)

The magnificent Angel smiled with patience: “Look, I lead a large Angelic Morning Choir of Seventy Angles, against the Seventy Families of Noah’s Nations. We chant at dawn in harmony as equal; no one is superior to the others. We all abide by Noah’s Covenant of Peace. So join our international brotherhood…” (He made so sense!)

Jacob however said: “But Justice, mishpat alone, even if genuine, will destroy the World. You need Tzedaka and Hessed to consolidate it. At CREATION, ELoKiM made the world first by Justice, but then He realized that it wouldn’t be enough. He therefore asked the Attribute of Mercy and Compassion to join Him and consolidate the World. You, as an Angel of ELoKiM, can’t even perceive Tzedakah and Hessed. Nor does Esau recognize it. But I seek is as it says “Give hessed to Abraham.” How can I join you?”

The Angel laughed and said: “Don’t brag. We too have charitable people, who’d sacrifice their lives for the others…”

But Jacob continued: “Your Hessed wouldn’t last. Without the Shechina in our heart, we wouldn’t even perceive it. Withouut Her, Man can be an animal. Civilization is just a thin crump that cracks easily if She does not consolidate it. How can I join you?”

Esau’s Angel laughed and said: “You see holiness? Our Heavenly Choir is full of it. Each Angel chant one ‘holy,’ three in a row chant ‘Holy Holy Holy’ and we repeat it several times a day. We stand for even holiness to all Mankind…”(wasn’t the Angel right?)

But Jacob charged back: “I seek holiness not in the Heavens but rather here on Earth, in the human heart. I want Mankind to chant from Earth ‘Holy Holy Holy,’ along with the Angelic above. How could I join you?”

The Angel was fed up, and he finally said: “Be sensible. Join me and I’ll appoint you to the highest positions among nations. I’ll make you a Chancellor of my Universities, a Chairman of my boards and a Capitan over my armies. I will open for you opportunities that you can’t even imagine. I’ll make you wealthy beyond dreams…”

Those soft wards hit Jacob hard. After all, he was realistic person. Nothing could please him more that than the promise of peace, justice and equality. But nothing could be more attractive to him than position and wealth. His stance weakened and he almost stumbled. The Angel should have left him to fall on the ground, but instead it hit Jacob with fist and caused him to dislocate his hip. That error brought Jacob back into the fight and he won. At dawn the defeated Angel consented that Jacob would chant from Earth three times holy, and that his name would henceforth be Israel, meaning “the one who chants with the choir of El’ or ‘fights for Justice with El and prevails.’

I learned from the story that the only way to overcome Jacob is by hugging. This indeed what happened in Shushan. Our King threw up a party in which he served his guests with stolen golden vessels and precious cloths of the Holy Temple. The Jews of Shushan were aware of this, yet they enjoyed the festivity, just flattered to be invited. They would have assimilated in shushan, and Jacob would have disappeared. But then I came to power and in my foolishness spoiled everything. I tried hard to use my fist, but that caused them to return not only to their fathers’ faith but also to Zion. It is because of me that they wrote the Mishna and the Talmud. What a mistake (from my side! )
My error was repeated in history by many other people, with similar results. Jacob suffered, yet prevailed. But today, things have changed. Most nations, East and West, adopted Esau’s hugging method. The Bolshiviks in the east brought millions of Jews to assimilate.
The Germans too, at first, hugged Jacob and caused him to Assimilate. But then they turned around and destroyed European Jewry, yet because of them the State of Israel came to life. Now, because of them, more people learn Torah in Israel than ever before.
In the West, in the USA, Esau’s hugging has been very successful. (I am glad to report that the rate of assimilation among young Jews has reached an unprecedented peak of 70%, and it is going up.) entire communities disappear and their synagogues boarded up.
This is why I’m here today. As a rule of thumb, I always re-appear among the very nation into which the Jews are avidly trying to assimilate.

But this time, I have a surprise: I would Join Jacob and convert to Judaism. Like the Babylonian General Nevuzaradan before me, I came to the conclusion that since the Torah foresees us so accurately, She must be divine.

So now it is VeNaafoch Hoo. While the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob abandon their faith, I Haman and my children would study Torah in the Yeshiva of Bnei Brak, like in the time of Rabbi Akivah. ”
I see that I’ve confused you. Can you tell any more the difference between “baruch Mordechai” and “Arur Haman”?
So let’s drink lechayim together, and have a good and freiliach Purim.