Showing posts from February, 2013

What happened to Haman's descendants?

On the surface, Purim seems like the most lighthearted Jewish holiday, with joking, masquerading, feasting, and delivering treats to friends and family.   But under that surface boils the powerful rage of thousands of years.   When we yell and stamp and make noise during the reading of the Megillah, we express our rage not only at Haman, the villain of the Purim story, but also at those in every generation whose irrational hatred of Jews has led them to violence.   But let us exhibit this rage with caution. The rage of Purim finds dramatic expression in the special Torah reading for the Shabbat before Purim, known as Shabbat Zakhor, the Sabbath of Remembrance. We read (Deuteronomy 25:17-19)   that as the Israelites were wandering in the desert, they were attacked by the tribe of Amalek. The Amalekites chose to fight their battle not against the armed Israelite soldiers, but against innocent, defenseless civilians, the “stragglers in the rear.” The Torah commands us to obliterate